Ipsilateral Femoral Shaft and Neck Fractures: Are Cephalomedullary Nails Appropriate?


A retrospective review was conducted to examine rates of malreduction and nonunion in ipsilateral femoral neck and shaft fractures using different fixation strategies. Twenty-two consecutive patients with 23 fractures were identified. Participants were treated with various fixation strategies for ipsilateral femoral neck and shaft fractures. Cephalomedullary devices were used in 13 cases, while cannulated screws and a retrograde femoral nail were used in nine cases. One patient was treated with cannulated screws and external fixation of the femoral shaft. Radiographic assessment of the quality of reduction and union of both fractures was evaluated. Clinical and radiographic follow-up was available in 20 fractures (87%) with a mean of 12 months (range 3–50). Two femoral neck nonunions occurred; both had fair reductions of the fractures obtained by closed maneuvers, and two-device fixation was used in each. One femoral shaft nonunion occurred in a fracture treated with a cephalomedullary nail. All three united after revision surgery. No cases of osteonecrosis or conversion to hip arthroplasty were noted. A combination of retrograde femoral nailing and screw fixation of the femoral neck or placement of a cephalomedullary nail can provide excellent reduction and rate of union in the treatment of this injury pattern. Excellent reduction of the femoral neck fracture is key to preventing femoral neck nonunion. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 20(2):122–125, 2011

SKU: JSOA-2011-20-2-SU6 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

Joshua L. Gary, MD, Sudeep Taksali, MD, Charles M. Reinert, MD,
and Adam J. Starr, MD