Outcomes of Elastic Stable Intramedullary Nailing for Surgical Treatment of Pediatric Tibial Shaft Fractures

Andrew J. Landau, Afolayan K. Oladeji, Jason L. Cummings, Rachel Goldstein, Adrian Lin, Pooya Hosseinzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:This retrospective study aimed to assess radiographic and clinical outcomes, characterize demographic, injury, and fracture characteristics, and elucidate the rate of postoperative complications and associated factors in a large cohort of children treated with elastic stable intramedullary nail for diaphyseal tibial fractures at two large pediatric referral centers.Methods:Medical records were reviewed for demographic clinical and radiographic parameters at injury, surgery, and all subsequent clinical visits until radiographic healing was observed and/or for a minimum of 6 months postoperatively.Results:A total of 146 patients (79.5% male) were included. The mean (SD) age was 11.8 (63.0) years. Radiographic union occurred by 3 months in 56.6% of patients. Nine patients had delayed union, and four had nonunion. By 3 months postoperatively, 97.2% of patients had progressed to full weight bearing and 92.5% had full range of motion of the knee and ankle. Subgroup analyses revealed that patients with open fractures were found to be more than eight times at increased risk of developing delayed union (.6 months, odds ratio = 8.71).Conclusion:Elastic stable intramedullary nail remains a safe and effective treatment of open and closed pediatric diaphyseal tibial fractures. A small yet notable risk of residual angular deformity, delayed union, and nonunion remains, although rates may be better than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23.00031
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Global Research and Reviews
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023


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