Augmentative Plating versus Exchange Intramedullary Nailing for the Treatment of Aseptic Non-Unions of the Femoral Shaft—A Biomechanical Study in a SawboneTM Model

Matthias Georg Walcher, Robert E. Day, Markus Gesslein, Hermann Josef Bail, Markus S. Kuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Non-unions after intramedullary nailing of femoral shaft fractures are a significant problem. Treatment options such as augmenting with plates or exchange nailing have been proposed. The ideal treatment remains controversial. Methods: Augmentative plating using a 4.5 mm LCP or a 3.2 mm LCP leaving the nail in situ was tested biomechanically and compared to exchange intramedullary nailing in a SawboneTM model of a femoral shaft non-union. Results: The difference of fracture gap motion in axial testing was small. In rotational testing, the exchange nail allowed for the largest amount of motion. The 4.5 mm augmentative plate was the most stable construct in all loading conditions. Conclusions: Augmentative plating using a 4.5 mm LCP plate while leaving the nail in situ is biomechanically superior to exchange intramedullary nailing. A small fragment 3.2 mm LCP is undersized and does not reduce fracture motion sufficiently in a femoral shaft non-union.

Original languageEnglish
Article number650
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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