Backout of the helical blade of proximal femoral nail antirotation and accompanying fracture nonunion

Takahiro Niikura, Sang Yang Lee, Tomoyuki Matsumoto, Tomoaki Fukui, Yohei Kawakami, Toshihiro Akisue, Ryosuke Kuroda, Masahiro Kurosaka
Orthopedics 2012 August 1, 35 (8): e1264-6
This article describes a case of backout of the helical blade, a rare complication of proximal femoral nail antirotation. A 31-year-old man had sustained a trochanteric fracture of his right femur. Fracture fixation using proximal femoral nail antirotation and autologous bone grafting 7 months later were performed at another hospital. However, bony union was not obtained, and the patient's pain and limp persisted. Therefore, he presented to the current authors. A radiograph taken at presentation revealed backout of the helical blade and fracture nonunion. A radiograph taken 1 month later showed a more advanced backout of the helical blade. The authors performed exchange nailing supplemented with transplantation of peripheral blood CD34-positive cells and autologous bone grafting. The proximal femoral nail antirotation was revised to a long gamma 3 nail, and a U-lag screw was used to obtain better stability. The postoperative course was uneventful. The patient regained ambulation without pain or support at 12 weeks postoperatively. Radiographic bony union was completed 9 months postoperatively. At 1-year follow-up, he could run and stand on the previously injured leg and had returned to work. Backout of the helical blade should be considered as a possible complication of proximal femoral nail antirotation. Incomplete fixation of the helical blade is the possible reason for backout. The use of a helical blade in young patients may cause difficulty in insertion and result in incomplete fixation.

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