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Acta Orthop Belg. 2012 Dec;78(6):779-85.

Expandable intramedullary nails for fixation of tibial shaft fractures.

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Saint-Pierre University Hospital, Brussels.


Interlocking intramedullary nailing is currently the preferred treatment for most tibial fractures requiring operative treatment, with good results and a relatively low complication rate as reported in large clinical series. However, vascular and neurological complications caused by interlocking screws have been reported. In addition, insertion of distal interlocking screws can be technically demanding and may entail substantial exposure. We present the results with an expandable self-locking nail in the management of 52 AO type A and B tibial shaft fractures. The mean time to union was 15.8 weeks and the rate of union was 98%. The average surgical time was 60 minutes. Complications were those usually seen in diaphysis nailing and no complication was noted during nail expansion. Interlocking screws are not necessary, which reduces the risk of iatrogenic lesions. The expandable nail allows effective management of AO type A and B diaphyseal fractures of the tibia, a lower radiation exposure and shorter operative time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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