OBJECTIVES:: The expandable intramedullary (IM) nail does not require locking and fluroscopy use is minimized. However, the lack of cross-locking screws may adversely affect the fixation's rotational stability. The purpose of our study was to compare the rotational stability afforded by an expandable nail with that of a standard locked nail. METHODS:: In a cadaver model of a diaphyseal femoral fracture (OTA type 32-A3), we compared first-generation expandable IM nails with standard locked IM nails in osteoporotic and nonosteoporotic femora (10 pairs each) and second-generation expandable nails with standard locked IM nails only in nonosteoporotic femora (10 pairs). To simulate torsional loads during walking, we applied an external rotation moment of -1 to 10 Nm at 1 Hz to each construct for 5000 cycles. Failure was defined as 15 degrees of rotation at the fracture site. We used McNemar's test to check for significant (P < 0.05) differences in failure between groups. RESULTS:: Of the first-generation expandable nails, 90% failed (9/10 in osteoporotic and 9/10 in nonosteoporotic femora) within the first 1000 cycles. Of the respective locked nails, significantly fewer failed in nonosteoporotic femora than in osteoporotic femora (0/10 and 3/10, respectively). Of the second-generation nails, 8/10 failed within 100 cycles of testing. Of the comparative locked nails, none failed at 5000 cycles. CONCLUSIONS:: We concluded that the expandable IM femoral nail, when tested in purely axial rotation, has poor rotational stability compared with the standard locked IM femoral nail.
- Expandable nail
- Intramedullary nail
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine