Treatment of femur fractures in school-aged children using elastic stable intramedullary nailing: a systematic review.
Femur fractures are common long-bone injuries in school-aged children (6-12 years). Among the various acceptable treatment options, elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) has gained popularity over recent years although the level of evidence for ESIN is low. This study was a systematic review of the literature to examine the outcomes and complications of ESIN in school-aged children and to critically evaluate the quality of the available literature. Although most complications were minor, some series report complication rates of more than 50%. Union rates are high. Malunion or mechanical axis malalignment, on the other hand, is common, and leg length discrepancy and overgrowth are also not unusual. Symptomatic implants are common, particularly if the distal ends of the nail are left long and prominent. Refracture was noted to be uncommon in this population. ESIN is a well-accepted and reliable option for treatment of femur fractures in school-aged children. Advantages are decreased length of hospital stay, early return to function, and high union rates. Care must be taken to obtain and maintain reduction, and caution is advised in older and heavier children.