Subtrochanteric femur fractures: a comparison of the Zickel nail, 95 degrees blade plate, and interlocking nail

W W Brien, D A Wiss, V Becker, T Lehman
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 1991, 5 (4): 458-64
Seventy-nine nonconsecutive patients with subtrochanteric femur fractures were divided into three groups based on the method of fracture fixation. Group I consisted of 21 patients treated with a Zickel nail, Group II comprised 25 patients treated with a 95 degrees blade plate, and Group III included 33 patients treated with an interlocking nail. All patients in Group I and Group II had open reduction and internal fixation of their fractures. Ninety-four percent of the patients in Group III were treated by closed intramedullary nailing. The average operating times for Groups I, II, and III were 212, 272, and 181 min, respectively, while blood loss averaged 900, 1,500, and 600 ml for each group, respectively. Group I had one infection, ten malunions, and one nonunion. Group II had one infection, six malunions, and two nonunions. Group III had no infections, two malunions, and one nonunion. We conclude that closed interlocking nailing is the treatment of choice for acute nonpathologic subtrochanteric femur fractures in adults. There is decreased blood loss, reduced operating time, and fewer complications than with either the Zickel nail or the 95 degrees blade plate regardless of the fracture pattern or the degree of fracture comminution.

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