18.07.2017 | Original Article
A comparison of external fixation and locked intramedullary nailing in the treatment of femoral diaphysis fractures from gunshot injuries
G. Polat, H. İ. Balci, O. N. Ergin, A. Asma, C. Şen, Ö. Kiliçoğlu
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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We studied the safety and incidence of complications from the treatment of gunshot-induced femur diaphysis fractures with locked intramedullary nailing in comparison to external fixation.
Patients who had femoral diaphysis fracture operations due to gunshot injuries (107 femurs of 99 patients) between 2003 and 2014 were retrospectively reviewed, and 66 femurs of 60 patients were place into two groups (Group A: intramedullary nailing—38 femurs of the 36 patients; Group B: external fixator—28 femurs of 24 patients). The mean follow-up was 76.3 months (22–131). The study outcomes were patient complications, infection rate, union time, need for secondary surgery, functional assessment with lower extremity functional scale, and radiological evaluation with orthoroentgenograms.
The mean age of the patients was 37.3 ± 7.4 years in Group A and 39 ± 6.1 years in Group B. There was no significant difference between the two groups in age, gender or follow-up. There were two deep infections (5.2%) in Group A and one deep infection (3.5%) in Group B. Delayed union was observed in four patients (10.5%) in Group A and in two patients (7.1%) in Group B. There was one non-union (2.6%) and one non-union (3.5%) in Group A and Group B, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two groups in incidence of union, delayed union or deep infection. The mean union time was 3.1 ± 2.5 months in Group A and 5.8 ± 1.4 months in Group B. The union time was significantly lower in the intramedullary nailing group (p = 0.023). There were no significant differences between the two groups in regards to radiological and functional evaluation.
This study showed similar complication rates and functional results both for external fixator and intramedullary nailing for the treatment of femoral diaphysis fractures due to gunshot injuries.
Level of evidence
Level 3 retrospective comparative clinical study.