The standard of care for femoral diaphysis fractures is sequentially reamed, locked, intramedullary nails. However, in the polytraumatized patient perioperative complications such as fat embolism syndrome (FES) and acute respiratory distress (ARDS) are well chronicled. The reamer irrigator aspirator (RIA)has been theorized to minimize such phenomena. A retrospective study comparing conventional reamed nailing for femur fractures versus those treated with the RIA was conducted. From January 2005 to September 2006, 156 patients treated at our institution with an intramedullary nail met inclusion criteria. There were sixty-six patient treated with conventional reaming (group A) and ninety patients treated with the RIA (group B). The main outcome measures included length of hospital stay, rate of ARDS, pneumonia, ventilatory failure, overall pulmonary complications, healing rate and death. No significant differences were found between groups with regard to patient demographics, injury severity and the incidence of head/chest trauma. In addition, no differences were found in length of hospital stay, length of ICU stay or mechanical ventilation. Overall pulmonary complications occurred in 11 (group A) and 16 (group B) respectively (p = 0.48). No fatalities were found in group A while there were four in group B, 4 (p = 0.14). No significant differences were found in delayed union versus nonunion rate between groups, while overall healing complications were seen in 7 and 14 of patients (p = 0.35) in groups A and B respectively. No statistical significance was reached with regard to pulmonary complications, healing rates or death. However, we were unable to demonstrate favorable physiologic lung parameters with RIA use compared to conventional reaming as has been described in previous animal studies. We found a trend toward more healing complications in the RIA group, but this was not statistically significant. Further study is warranted.
- Fracture healing
- Intramedullary nail
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine