Treatment of nonunions with irretrievable broken nail pieces in the distal fragment

Alexander Lerner, Dory Herer, Avi Chezar, Shai Freiman, Haim Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: We present our experience in the treatment of nonunited fractures of long bones in the presence of a retained fragment of the broken intramedullary nail. Materials and method: Of 287 long bone fractures treated by intramedullary fixation, we recalled 5 patients with broken intramedullary nails. In two patients the distal fragments of broken nails were not extracted and refixation was performed by an Ilizarov ring fixation with the broken piece left in situ. Results: The patients ambulated with full weight bearing immediately following surgery. We achieved good results in both patients with fracture union times between 16 and 22 weeks. No complication was observed. Conclusions: Ring fixation using thin wires or half pins inserted beside fragments of the broken nail provides a simple and minimally traumatic method of treatment in patients when encountering difficulties extracting a retained fragment of broken intramedullary nails.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Broken intramedullary nail
  • Femoral fracture
  • Ilizarov fixation
  • Retained fragment
  • Tibial fracture


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