Intramedullary nailing using long or modular nails is the most reliable mean of achieving femorotibial fusion. Here, we report the operative, clinical, functional, and radiological outcomes of 17 long intramedullary nail arthodeses in patients with infection.
Clinical and functional outcomes after long intramedullary nailing are at least as good as those obtained using other implants.
Materials and methods
We retrospectively reevaluated 17 patients after unilateral two-stage knee arthrodesis with a long titanium intramedullary nail and autologous bone grafting. We evaluated satisfaction, leg length discrepancy, and function (Lequesne and WOMAC indices). Radiographs were obtained to assess fusion, time to fusion, and femorotibial angles.
No cases of material failure were recorded. One or more complications occurred in seven patients. Mean limb shortening was 27.6mm. Of the 17 patients, 15 were satisfied with the procedure. The mean Lequesne index was 10.5/24 and the mean overall WOMAC score was 26/88. Fusion was achieved in 16 patients, with a mean time to fusion of 5 months. Mean femorotibial angles were 178.6° of varus and 1.9° of flexion.
This simple and rapid surgical technique provides functional outcomes similar to those obtained using modular nails. The fusion rate is high. Nail extraction is simple and causes minimal damage, in contrast to modular nails. Increased attention to misalignment is needed.
Level of evidence
Level IV, retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Knee, Arthrodesis, Intramedullary nail