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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1997 May;(338):60-73.

Current trends in the treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children and adolescents.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 35801, USA.


Healthcare cost containment and a desire for early discharge of the pediatric patient to the home environment have become important factors in the treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children. As a result, newer techniques of treatment have become popular. The immediate hip spica cast remains the primary method of treatment for most children 6 years of age and younger. The treatment for children between the ages of 6 and 10 years is the most controversial. Many such patients may be treated successfully with immediate hip spica casts. However, external fixation and flexible intramedullary rod fixation are being used more frequently, particularly in patients with multiple trauma. The initial enthusiasm for rigid intramedullary rod fixation of adolescent femoral fractures has been tempered by recent reports of femoral head avascular necrosis. Avoiding the piriformis fossa during rod insertion may prevent this complication. Most children and adolescents with femoral fractures can be treated successfully with a brief hospital course without compromising care or outcome.

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