Distal locking of femoral nails under direct vision through a cortical window

J Orthop Trauma. 2003 Sep;17(8):574-7. doi: 10.1097/00005131-200309000-00006.


We present a salvage technique for distal femoral interlocking under direct vision through a window in the anterior femoral cortex in a subgroup of six patients, among those presented to our institution during the last 10 years with a femoral shaft fracture treated with reamed, locked intramedullary nailing. The common characteristic of these patients was the performance of distal locking under direct vision through a small window in the anterior femoral cortex because of intraoperative dysfunction of the image intensifier. Screw insertion was successful in all cases. All fractures and all cortical windows healed uneventfully. No postoperative fractures occurred through the cortical defect. This technique, despite being a salvage one, has proven a safe alternative to the common distal targeting techniques. It can be used when an image intensifier is unavailable without jeopardizing the excellent clinical and radiographic outcome of reamed locked nailing of femoral shaft fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Nails*
  • Equipment Design
  • Femoral Fractures / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies