Exchange nailing with enhanced distal fixation is effective for the treatment of infraisthmal femoral nonunions

Joon Woo Kim, Yong Cheol Yoon, Chang Wug Oh, Seung Beom Han, Jae Ang Sim, Jong Keon Oh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: The treatment options for nonunions of infraisthmal femoral shaft fractures after internal fixation are controversial. Methods such as exchanging an existing nail with a nail of a larger size, dynamization, removal of the nail followed by plating, and bone grafting have all been reported. Among those options, exchange nailing seems to be the most popular choice. In this study, a Poller screw, or an additional interlocking screw, was used in conjunction with exchange intramedullary nailing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of treating femoral shaft nonunions using insertion of a Poller screw or an additional interlocking screw in conjunction with intramedullary nail fixation. Materials and methods: This study included 18 patients who presented with nonunion of femur shaft fractures after internal fixation at the infraisthmal level. These patients included 13 men and 5 women, with a mean age of 46.8 years (range 15–78 years). The mean postsurgical period of nonunion was 7.8 months (range 6–12 months). The patients were classified into two groups: the atrophic nonunion group and the hypertrophic nonunion group. In all patients, nailing was enhanced with a Poller screw or additional interlocking screws. All patients were followed up with plain film examinations and were assessed for their functional recovery status to determine the osseous union conditions. Results: All 18 patients achieved postoperative bony union after a mean time of 7.5 months (range 3–12 months), and all patients were able to walk with full weight-bearing and without pain within 3 months. There were no significant complications, such as broken hardware, implant back-outs, axial or rotational malalignments, or deep infections. Conclusion: Poller screws and additional interlocking screws, along with intramedullary nailing exchange, may be an effective and reliable alternative for treating infraisthmal femoral shaft nonunions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-34
    Number of pages8
    JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


    • Additional interlocking screw
    • Exchange intramedullary nailing
    • Infraisthmal femoral shaft fracture
    • Nonunion
    • Poller screw

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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