Less malunion and shorter bone union time with titanium elastic nail treatment for isolated femoral shaft fractures in three- to six-year-old children


EKEN G., ERMUTLU C., Sarisozen B., ATICI T., DURAK K., ÇAKAR A.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY AND TRAUMATOLOGY, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00590-022-03223-0
  • Journal Name: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY AND TRAUMATOLOGY
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Preschool children, Femoral shaft fracture treatment, Titanium elastic nail, Spica cast, FEMUR FRACTURES, SPICA CASTS, AGED 2, COMPLICATIONS, MANAGEMENT, LEG
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Purpose Titanium elastic nail (TEN) is a good option for femoral shaft fractures in school-age children, whereas a spica cast is favored for younger patients. We aimed to compare these treatment modalities in a group of children aged three to six years. Methods 34 patients aged 3-6 years with an isolated closed femoral shaft fracture treated with TEN or one-leg spica cast immobilization were retrospectively assessed. Age, gender, weight, mechanism of injury, hospital stay time, bone union time, radiographic shortening, malunion, and complications were compared between the treatment groups. Results 16 (47.1%) patients who were treated with TEN (Group T) and 18 (52.9%) patients with spica casting (Group S) were included with a mean of 51 (24-94) months follow-up. The mean age was 4.98 years and statistically similar between both groups (mean, 5.2 vs. 4.8 years; p = 0.234). The patients in Group T were heavier (mean, 19.3 vs. 17.2 kg; p < 0.001) and were more likely to have a higher-energy mechanism of injury (p = 0.006). The mean late femoral shortening of Group S patient's was 6.5 +/- 3.5 mm and significantly higher than Group T, which was 2.0 +/- 2.9 (p = 0.050). However, effective late femoral shortening rates were not statistically different between groups (p = 0.347). Malunion was seen in six (33.3%) patients in Group S, whereas none of the patients in Group T had malunion at the last follow-up examination and were statistically different (p = 0.011). Conclusion Our study identified radiographic evidence favoring TEN over spica cast immobilization in treating preschool-age children with an isolated femoral shaft fracture in terms of malunion.