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Int Orthop. 1983;7(3):153-8.

Intertrochanteric fractures: a comparison between fixation with a two-piece nail plate and Ender's nails.


The progress of 182 patients who presented with intertrochanteric fractures was followed over a six month period. Eighty-seven patients were treated using Thornton/McLaughlin nail plates and 95 were treated using Ender's intramedullary nails. Each fracture was classified according to radiological position and mechanical stability. The results show that the more unstable fractures are more likely to develop unsatisfactory results. Post operatively, the different mechanical complications have been recorded at various stages. Those fractures fixed with a nail plate tended to develop varus deformity resulting from either bony collapse around the implant or implant failure, whereas those fixed with Ender's nails did not develop deformity at the fracture site but encountered distal migration of the nails at the knee. The use of a classification system in predicting post operative mechanical complications is considered, and the comparative merits and disadvantages of the two fixation systems is discussed, with suggestions for improvement in operative technique.

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