Assessment of clinical and radiographic outcomes following retrograde versus antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures without the use of intraoperative fluoroscopy in Tanzania

To compare clinical and radiographic outcomes following antegrade versus retrograde intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femoral shaft fractures.

Secondary analysis of prospective cohort study.

Tertiary hospital in Tanzania.

Adult patients with infraisthmic diaphyseal femur fractures.

Antegrade or retrograde SIGN intramedullary nail.

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL), radiographic healing, knee range of motion, pain, and alignment (defined as less than or equal to 5 degrees of angular deformity in both coronal and sagittal planes) assessed at 6, 12, 24, and 52 weeks postoperatively.

Of 160 included patients, 141 (88.1%) had 1-year follow-up and were included in analyses: 42 (29.8%) antegrade, 99 (70.2%) retrograde. Antegrade-nailed patients had more loss of coronal alignment (P = .026), but less knee pain at 6 months (P = .017) and increased knee flexion at 6 weeks (P = .021). There were no significant differences in reoperations, HRQOL, hip pain, knee extension, radiographic healing, or sagittal alignment.

Antegrade nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures had higher incidence of alignment loss, but no detectable differences in HRQOL, pain, radiographic healing, or reoperation. Retrograde nailing was associated with increased knee pain and decreased knee range of motion at early time points, but this dissipated by 1 year. To our knowledge, this is the first study to prospectively compare outcomes over 1 year in patients treated with antegrade versus retrograde SIGN intramedullary nailing of infraisthmic femur fractures.

Surgical treatment of femoral diaphyseal fractures in children using elastic stable intramedullary nailing by open reduction at Yopougon Teaching Hospital.

Elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) has transformed children’s femoral shaft fracture treatment, but this technique requires an image intensifier. Without it, open reduction is used to check fracture reduction and pin passage. The aim of this study was to describe our techniques and to evaluate our results at the middle term.

The open reduction and ESIN technique provides satisfactory results with few major complications.

Patients and methods
This was a retrospective study that focused on femoral diaphyseal fractures treated in the pediatric surgery unit at Yopougon Teaching Hospital (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) between January 2007 and December 2013. Twenty children older than 6 years of age who underwent open reduction and ESIN without image intensifier assistance were included. Functional outcomes were assessed using Flynn’s criteria. Postoperative complications and sequelae were recorded.

At the 16-month follow-up, the results were excellent in 11 (55%) cases, good in eight (40%), and poor in one (5%) case. The mean duration of surgery was 71 min (range, 57–103 min). The mean time for bone healing was 11.6 weeks (range, 7–15 weeks) and the average time to nail removal was 6 months. Complications included wood infection (n = 3), skin irritation (n = 3), knee stiffness (n = 2), malunion (n = 3), scar (n = 5), and leg length discrepancy (n = 3).

Open reduction and ESIN yielded satisfactory results with few major complications. This method could be an alternative in low-income countries where the image intensifier is often unavailable.