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Comparison of dynamic versus static fixation of intramedullary nailing in tibial diaphyseal fractures: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Introduction: Tibial fractures are common long bone injuries, often surgically fixed with intramedullary nails. Modern intramedullary tibial nails allow for two different fixation modes, namely static and dynamic modes. While studies have demonstrated benefits of using either fixation modes, there has been no consensus as to which fixation mode would produce better outcomes and less complications. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to compare the efficacy and safety of dynamic versus static fixation of intramedullary nails in the operative fixation of tibial diaphyseal fractures.

Methods: A meta-analysis was conducted with a multi-database search (PubMed, OVID, EMBASE, Medline) according to PRISMA guidelines on April 15, 2021. Data from all published literature meeting inclusion criteria were extracted and analysed with fixed- and random-effects models.Findings/results: A total of 478 statically fixed and 234 dynamically fixed patients were included in this meta-analysis. Dynamically fixed patients had a significantly shorter mean time to union (mean difference, MD = 5.18 weeks, 95%CI: 1.95-8.41 weeks, p = 0.002) and reoperation rates (OR = 0.21, 95%CI: 0.10-0.47, p < 0.001) than statically fixed patients. No significant difference was found between both groups in terms of malrotation (OR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.07-4.41, p = 0.59), non-union (OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.24-5.05, p = 0.91), delayed union (OR = 1.15, 95%CI: 0.19-7.17, p = 0.88) and malunion (OR = 2.73, 95% CI: 0.29-25.26, p = 0.38).

Conclusion: While acknowledging that there is widespread surgeon preference to dyanamise or statically fix intramedullary nails in certain tibial fracture configurations, primary dynamic fixation of intramedullary tibial nails demonstrated significantly shorter times to bony union and less complications than static nailing in our meta-analysis. Further research on identifying patient factors and fracture patterns that would best benefit from dynamic fixation is required.

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