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J Orthop Trauma. 1992;6(4):460-3.

Removal of intramedullary rods after femoral shaft fracture.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of New Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque 87131.


We are reporting a retrospective review of the removal of 60 intramedullary rods in 58 patients. All fractures had healed at the time of rod extraction. The implant was removed from 34 asymptomatic patients (36 femurs). Twenty-four patients (24 femurs) had preoperative symptoms attributed to the femoral rod. Fourteen patients had symptoms about the greater trochanter preoperatively, five patients had symptoms referable to the knee, and five had infections about the femoral implant. Problems encountered included broken rods in five femurs, one of which was not apparent on preoperative radiographs. There were six patients (six femurs) who required further hospital care for postoperative hematomas. The development of a significant hematoma was not related to the location of the fracture, the presence of interlocking devices requiring removal, the length of time since injury, the performance of this procedure as an inpatient or outpatient, or the presence or absence of a functional drain. Of the 10 patients (10 femurs) who had proximal heterotopic ossification Brooker stage 2 or greater, wound hematomas developed in four patients (40%). There were no refractures. Although there may be an indication for rod removal, we do not recommend the procedure in asymptomatic patients.

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