Intramedullary nails for pediatric diaphyseal femur fractures in older, heavier children: Early results

Richard A.K. Reynolds, Julie E. Legakis, Ronald Thomas, Theddy F. Slongo, James B. Hunter, Jean Michel Clavert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: A common treatment for pediatric femur fractures is intramedullary nail (IMN) insertion. Elastic stable intramedullary nails (ESINs) are often used for these procedures in heavier patients, but the potential for complications and malunion is greater. We describe here a rigid IMN specifically designed for adolescents, the adolescent lateral entry femoral nail (ALFN). The purpose of this study was to compare the recovery and complications for patients treated with ESINs to those treated with the ALFN. Methods: Our study design was a retrospective cohort study. We performed a review of medical records of 22 children ages 10-17 requiring surgical fixation of a femur fracture for a 21/2-year period. Patients selected for the study had traumatic diaphyseal femur fractures and were treated with ESINs without end-caps or ALFNs. Our analyses evaluated injury, surgical, and outcome information for all patients. Results: Twenty-two patients were eligible for inclusion and were divided into two groups according to their treatment: the ESIN group with 7 patients and the ALFN group with 15 patients. We then performed a comparison of complications and recovery for these patients. The mean time to full weight-bearing was significantly less for the ALFN group (4. 1 weeks; SD, 2. 2), than the ESIN group (9. 4 weeks; SD 3. 9). There was no statistical difference in the incidence of major or minor complications. Conclusions: Older, heavier pediatric patients treated for femur fracture with ALFNs had a shorter recovery time than similar patients treated with ESINs. However, the outcomes for both groups were satisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Adolescent femoral nail
  • Elastic stable intramedullary nail
  • Intramedullary nailing
  • Pediatric femur fracture


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