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Unstable trochanteric femoral fractures: extramedullary or intramedullary fixation. Review of literature.

Injury 2004 Februrary
For operative treatment of unstable trochanteric fractures two options exist: extramedullary or intramedullary stabilisation. A review of 18 international papers that compared two different treatment methods for trochanteric fractures, in prospective randomised clinical trials, is presented. In view of the overall results, routine use of intramedullary fixation devices is not to be recommended for stable trochanteric fractures. For these fractures one of the sliding hip screw systems provides a safe and simple alternative. For unstable fractures intramedullary implants are (biomechanically) superior. The review shows that clinical advantages of both treatment methods are suggested and advocated, but still remain to be demonstrated on evidence base.

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