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J Pediatr Orthop. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4):505-9.

Flexible intramedullary nailing in pediatric lower limb fractures.

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Department of Trauma, Hand, and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


Seventy-three children (48 boys and 25 girls; mean age, 5.7 years) with unilateral femoral or tibial shaft fractures were treated using elastic intramedullary nails at the authors' institution. There were 61 simple type A fractures (84%) and 12 wedge type B fractures (16%). All but 3 children had closed fractures. Associated injuries were seen in one third of the cases. All fractures were reduced by closed manipulation. Union was achieved in all cases without additional intervention. Technical problems occurred in few patients. Improper nail length was seen in 4 cases. None of the study patients developed deep infection. No angulation greater than 15 degrees was found after femoral fractures. Nine patients had length discrepancy greater than 10 mm. Spiral fractures showed a tendency for shortening whereas transverse fractures were more associated with post-traumatic lengthening. No significant axial malalignment or shortening was seen in tibial fractures. Torsional differences of greater than 15 degrees were detected by computed tomography or navigated ultrasound examination in nearly half of the patients; however, only 4 children had clinically apparent gait changes. The study confirms the satisfactory results of treating pediatric lower limb fractures using elastic nails. Proper surgical technique and intraoperative control of limb alignment can help avoid postoperative deformities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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