Deep intramedullary infection in tibial lengthening over an intramedullary nail

Seung Ju Kim, Gracia Cielo Balce, Young Jae Huh, Sang Yoon Song, Hae Ryong Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Tibial lengthening over an intramedullary (IM) device is associated with a risk of deep intra - medullary infection ; there is so far no guideline for decision making between early removal and delayed removal of the nail. Tibial lengthening over an intramedullary nail/Rush pin was performed in 118 limb segments (63 patients) from 2004 to 2008 in our institution. Fifty five patients had bilateral tibial lengthening. Ninety nine of the 118 segments went on to healing without infection, while 13 segments developed superficial infection and 6 segments developed deep infection. Among 6 patients with deep infection, 4 patients underwent early removal of the nail when deep infection signs and symptoms occurred and 2 patients underwent delayed removal of the nail at 11 months. The 6 segments with deep infection differed significantly with respect t to the callus pattern (p < 0.05) and density (p = 0.0001) from those without infection and with superficial infection. In this small sugroup, removal of the nail was delayed in two patients as there was visible callus bridging at more than one cortex, and deep infection subsided after local drainage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalActa Orthopaedica Belgica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Deep infection
  • Intramedullary nail
  • Tibial lengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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