A comparative study of the fracture union between long and short proximal femoral intramedullary nails antirotation in the treatment of intertrochanteric femur fractures in the elderly: a multicentric analysis

B. Hari Krishnan, S. K. Rai, Rohit Vikas, Manoj Kashid, Pramod Mahender


Background: The objective of the study was to compare the fracture union of long vs. short proximal femoral intramedullary nail antirotation (PFNA) in the treatment of intertrochanteric fractures in elderly patients who was more than 60 years old.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 170 cases of intertrochanteric fractures of the femur (AO type A1 and A2) in the elderly was conducted. There were 64 males (37.6%) and 106 females (62.3%) with the age of 60–90 (mean age 75) years. The general demographic data of patients, operation time, intraoperative blood loss, length of hospital stay, blood transfusion rate, anterior thigh pain, postoperative complications like periprosthetic fractures, infections were recorded.

Results: The short nail group also had a significantly shorter operation time (41.5±15.3 minutes vs. 62.5±25.3 minutes, p=0.002) and lower rate of postoperative transfusion (31.3% vs. 58.7%, p=0.041). However the length of hospital stay showed no significant differences. After surgery in short group there were 03 cases of periprosthetic fracture with a total incidence of 03%, however there were none in long nail group. At the end of the follow-up, all patients achieved bony union. The average fracture union time of the long nail group was (8.5±3.2) months, and the short nail group was (7.8±4.7) months, revealing no significant differences (p=0.09).

Conclusions: Both the proximal femoral intramedullary long and short nail fixation has a good result in the form of fracture union in treating intertrochanteric femur fractures in the elderly. They showed no significant difference in terms of fracture union, hospital stay, and postoperative complications. The incidence of periprosthetic fractures and anterior thigh pain was slightly high in short nail group. In short intramedullary nailing group there was obvious decrease in the intraoperative blood loss, operation time and postoperative blood transfusion.


Intertrochanteric fracture, Proximal femoral intramedullary nail antirotation, Periprosthetic fracture

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