The evolution of poller screws

EFORT Open Rev. 2024 Apr 4;9(4):252-263. doi: 10.1530/EOR-23-0183.


Compared to other techniques, poller screws with intramedullary nailing are technically simple, practical, and reproducible for the fixation of metaphyseal fractures. In addition, poller screws do not require special instruments or hardware and are minimally invasive. This review takes a historical perspective to evaluate poller screws holistically. A non-systematic search on PubMed was performed using 'Poller screw' or 'Blocking screw' to find early use of poller blocking screws. Relevant references from these primary studies were then followed up. In 1999, Krettek et al. first coined the term poller screws after the small metal bollards that block and direct traffic. Poller screws were introduced as an adjunct to aid the union of metaphyseal long bone fractures during intramedullary nailing. However, as more evidence was published, the true effectiveness of poller screws was not appreciated, leading to split opinions. Through our research, we have built upon our understanding of poller screws, and we present a novel classification of poller screws over the years while exploring our novel technique and what we believe to be the fourth generation of poller screws. Currently, there is a paucity of research focussing on poller screws. However, studying the original evidence regarding poller screws through the most recent articles has demonstrated a confusion of research in this field. Therefore, we suggest a more organised approach to classify the use of poller screws.

Keywords: intramedullary nails; poller screw.

Publication types

  • Review