Short versus long cephalomedullary nailing of intertrochanteric fractures: a meta-analysis of 3208 patients

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of the study was to compare treatment outcomes after short or long cephalomedullary nailing for intertrochanteric femur fractures.

Data sources

A systematic review of perioperative outcomes after short or long cephalomedullary nailing for intertrochanteric femur fractures was performed. The following databases were used: using the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed (1980–2019), and MEDLINE (1980–2019). The queries were performed in June 2019.

Study selection

The following search term query was used: “Intramedullary Nail AND Intertrochanteric Fracture OR “Long OR Short Nail AND intertrochanteric Fracture.” Studies were excluded if they were “single-arm” studies (i.e., reporting on either long or short CMN but not both), or did not report at least one of the outcomes being meta-analyzed. Furthermore, cadaveric studies, animal studies, basic science articles, editorial articles, surveys and studies were excluded.

Data extraction

Two investigators independently reviewed abstracts from all identified articles. Full-text articles were obtained for review if necessary, to allow further assessment of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Additionally, all references from the included studies were reviewed and reconciled to verify that no relevant articles were missing from the systematic review.

Data synthesis

Short nails were associated with statistically significantly less estimated blood loss and operative time compared to long nails. There were no significant differences in transfusion rates, implant failures or overall re-operation rates between implant lengths. Similarly, there was no significant difference in peri-implant fracture between implant lengths.

Conclusions

Overall, the available clinical evidence supports the use of short cephalomedullary nails for the majority of intertrochanteric femur fractures.

Study design/level of evidence

Meta-analysis; Level III, therapeutic.

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Correspondence to Mark E. Cinque.

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Cinque, M.E., Goodnough, L.H., MD, B.J.S. et al. Short versus long cephalomedullary nailing of intertrochanteric fractures: a meta-analysis of 3208 patients. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00402-021-03752-z

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Keywords

  • Cephalomedullary nail
  • Intertrochanteric femur fracture
  • Long nail
  • Short nail