JOURNAL ARTICLE
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New interlocking intramedullary radius and ulna nails for treating forearm diaphyseal fractures in adults: a retrospective study.

Injury 2014 January
INTRODUCTION: The treatment goal for diaphyseal forearm fractures in adults is to restore axial and rotational stability. The treatment of these fractures with intrmaedullary locked nailing remains sparse. We therefore evaluated IM nails for treating forearm diaphyseal fractures in adults.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed adult patients with isolated unilateral or bilateral fractures of the radius, ulna, or both, who were treated with closed or mini open reduction with a new IM nail between May 2008 and January 2012 and who were followed for a least 1 year. Patients with a Galeazzi fracture, a pathological fracture or patients with nonunion after previous surgeries were excluded. All patients were allowed full range of motion without any external support. Primary outcomes were Grace and Eversmann rating, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores.

RESULTS: The 43 enrolled patients (mean age, 37 years; 32 men) had 59 forearm fractures: 14 isolated radius fractures, 17 isolated ulna fractures (2 bilateral), and 28 fractures of both the radius and ulna. Mean time to fracture union was 13 weeks (range 10-14 weeks) for ulnar fractures and 12 weeks (range 10-13 weeks) for radial fractures. No patient had nonunion, deep infections, or radioulnar synostosis. Followup ranged from 12 to 44 months. Grace and Eversmann ratings were excellent in 38 patients and good in 5. Mean DASH score was 6.5 points (range 0-13.3).

CONCLUSIONS: Intramedullary nailing of adult forearm diaphyseal fractures appears to be a good alternative to plate osteosynthesis. The advantages are short operative time, minimal invasive techniques, and sufficient stability in all planes that allows early motion without additional fracture support.

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