Treatment of tibial diaphyseal fractures with closed flexible intramedullary ender nails: 39 fractures followed for a period of two to seven years
JOURNAL OF PAKISTAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
To assess the efficacy of flexible intramedullary Ender nails for the treatment of tibial diaphyseal. This is a retrospective review of patients treated with the Ender Nail for both open and closed tibial shaft fractures. Between January 1989 and December 1994, 43 fractures were treated with these nails. The configuration of each fracture was determined using the Orthopedic Trauma Association classification and the extent of soft tissue damage was assessed using the Gustilo and Anderson's
... nd Anderson's classification. Four patients were excluded from the study due to inadequate follow-up. There were 27 closed and 12 open fractures. The average time to union in 34 out of 39 fractures was 17 weeks. Delayed union and malunion occurred in two patients each and superficial wound infection in 1 patient. Nonunion occurred in 5 fractures that were all located in the distal 1/3 of the tibial diaphysis. We attribute this high rate of non-union to a poor rotational control on the distal fragment by these nails. The Ender nails provide effective fixation for the OTA stable class of tibial fractures, where they produce good axial and rotational stability by virtue of their three-point fixation. Rotational and angular stability should be improved by a supplementary cast immobilization for fractures with unstable configuration and those located in the distal third of the diaphysis.