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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Jun;92(6):1409-17. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.00538.

Limb geometry after elastic stable nailing for pediatric femoral fractures.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cairo University, 11562 Cairo, Egypt.



Elastic stable intramedullary nailing has become a popular treatment for pediatric long-bone fractures. However, early limb malalignment and length differences may occur in children with femoral fractures who are managed with this procedure.


We prospectively followed sixty-eight children (mean age, 5.6 years) who were managed with elastic stable intramedullary nailing for the treatment of a unilateral femoral shaft fracture in order to evaluate early angular or rotational malalignment or limb-length discrepancy. The average body weight was 21 kg (range, 10 to 45 kg). There were fifty-seven AO/ASIF Type-A fractures and eleven Type-B fractures. Malalignment was assessed with use of radiographs, computed tomography, or navigated ultrasound examination after four to seven months to evaluate the short-term result of fixation and to eliminate changes caused by later bone remodeling.


The mean femoral length difference was 0.5 mm of femoral lengthening. Only eleven patients (16%) had a limb-length discrepancy of >10 mm. Mechanical axial deviation of >5 degrees occurred in one patient. However, the mean femoral rotational angle difference was 14.5 degrees . Thirty-two children (47%) had > or =15 degrees of torsional malalignment.


Elastic stable intramedullary nailing can provide satisfactory results in terms of limb length and axial alignment, but a high rate of early torsional malalignment may be seen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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