Rigid intramedullary nail fixation of femoral fractures in adolescents: what evidence is available?

D S Angadi, D E T Shepherd, R Vadivelu, T Barrett, Duncan Shepherd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Femoral fracture in adolescents is a significant injury. It is generally agreed that operative fixation is the treatment of choice, and rigid intramedullary nail fixation is a treatment option. However, numerous types of rigid nails to fix adolescent femoral fractures have been described. Hence, the aim of this paper was to collate and evaluate the available evidence for managing diaphyseal femoral fractures in adolescents using rigid intramedullary nails.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was undertaken using the healthcare database website ( http://www.library.nhs.uk/hdas ). Medline, CINAHL, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched to identify prospective and retrospective studies of rigid intramedullary nail fixation in the adolescent population.

RESULTS: The literature search returned 1,849 articles, among which 51 relevant articles were identified. Of these 51 articles, 23 duplicates were excluded, so a total of 28 articles were reviewed. First-generation nails had a high incidence of limb length discrepancy (Küntscher 5.8 %, Grosse-Kempf 9 %), whilst second-generation nails had a lower incidence (Russell-Taylor 1.7 %, AO 2.6 %). Avascular necrosis was noted with solid Ti nails (2.6 %), AO femoral nails (1.3 %) and Russell-Taylor nails (0.85 %). These complications have not been reported with the current generation of nails.

CONCLUSIONS: Rigid intramedullary nail fixation of femoral fractures in adolescents is a useful procedure with good clinical results. A multiplanar design and lateral trochanteric entry are key to a successful outcome of titanium alloy nail fixation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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