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Objectives: To evaluate the clinical results of intramedullary nailing of femoral shaft fractures using a rigid intramedullary nail placed through the lateral aspect of the greater trochanter in older children and adolescents.

Design: A retrospective study was carried out evaluating all skeletally immature patients with femoral shaft fractures treated using a modified rigid humeral intramedullary nail.

Patients/Participants: Fifteen children and adolescents with displaced femoral diaphyseal fractures and open physes.

Intervention: Femoral shaft fractures in children and adolescents were stabilized using a modified humeral intramedullary nail placed through the lateral aspect of the greater trochanter.

Main Outcome Measurements: Patients were evaluated to determine time to union, final fracture alignment, hospital stay, complications, clinical outcome, and proximal femoral changes including avascular necrosis or proximal femoral valgus with femoral neck narrowing.

Results: Fifteen patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year (range 70-157 weeks). The average age of the patients was 12 years and 5 months (range 8 years and 2 months-17 years and 1 month). All fractures healed at a mean of 7 weeks (range 5-14 weeks) after fracture. The average hospital stay for patients with isolated femur fractures (8/15) was 2.8 days (range 1-5 days). At an average follow-up of 141 weeks (range 70-326 weeks), no patient had developed avascular necrosis, femoral neck valgus, femoral neck narrowing, or other complications.

Conclusions: The technique of intramedullary nailing in children through the lateral aspect of the greater trochanter seems to be safe, effective, and well tolerated by patients.

(C) 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.