Intrapelvic migration of a gamma nail lag screw: review of the possible mechanisms

Orthopedics. 2010 Apr;33(4). doi: 10.3928/01477447-20100225-19. Epub 2010 Apr 16.


This article presents a case of intrapelvic migration of a Gamma nail lag screw (Stryker, Mahwah, New Jersey) in an 82-year-old woman 7 months after fixation of an unstable pertrochanteric fracture. Two of the most common complications associated with the use of the Gamma nail and other sliding intramedullary devices, as well as lag screw and side plate devices, relate to the lag screw: cut out and medial migration in the femoral head. As compared to lag screw migration in the femoral head, intrapelvic migration of the Gamma lag screw is a rare complication. To our knowledge, intra-pelvic migration after disengagement of the lag screw from the Gamma nail has been reported in the literature only 3 times. Several risk factors can be associated with Gamma nail failure, most importantly damage to femoral head leading to lag screw migration, plate/lag or nail/lag screw interface dysfunction, technical mistakes, and additional subsequent trauma. This article reviews the literature and the theories for such device failures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Nails / adverse effects*
  • Bone Screws / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Migration / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / etiology*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / surgery
  • Hip Fractures / complications
  • Hip Fractures / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvis / injuries
  • Pelvis / radiation effects
  • Pelvis / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / etiology*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome