If I have a Hammer Everything Starts to Look like a Nail
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
IM nails for fibula fractures is the proposition
Intramedullary nailing of fibula fractures with the advocates citing decreased wound complications, the absence of hardware prominence, lower non-union rate and less overall cost.
Not so fast
Authors of Midterm Outcomes of Unstable Ankle Fractures in Young Patients Treated by Close Reduction and Fixation With an Intramedullary Fibular Nail vs Open Reduction Internal Fixation using a lateral Locking Plate report poorer reduction and a higher incidence of post-traumatic arthritis in patients under-going intramedullary nailing versus traditional ORIF. These results were observed in Weber C type injuries, comminuted fibular fractures and tri-malleolar fracture patterns.
Not yet out, but likely this is an appropriate technique for stable fibula fractures where length and rotation is not the challenge. TBA whether the increased cost of an IM implant over traditional ORIF is worth the squeeze. This screams of another debate for the trauma-focused versus foot-and-ankle-focused surgeons.