Clinical Outcomes of Intermediate-Length Cephalomedullary Nails for Intertrochanteric Femur Fracture Repair in Older Adults


  • Paul A. Enns, M.D.
  • Sue M. Nyberg, MHS, PA-C
  • Gina M. Berg, Ph.D., MBA
  • Morgan A. Galliart, MPA, PA-C
  • Brent D. Sarauer, MPA, PA-C
  • Andrew A. Scheer, MPA, PA-C
  • Bradley R. Dart, M.D.
  • Chad M. Corrigan, M.D.



hip fracture, intertrochanteric fractures, bone nails, periprosthetic fracture, elderly


Introduction. Hip fracture is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Intertrochanteric hip fractures often are treated surgically using cephalomedullary nails (CMN), in either a short or long length. Their outcomes are documented in the literature; however, outcomes of the intermediate-length CMN have not been well described.

Methods. A retrospective review was conducted of older adults with intertrochanteric hip fractures that were treated with cephalomedullary nail fixation using an intermediate-length (235 mm Synthes Trochanteric Fixation® nail or 240 mm Stryker Gamma 3®) nail. Outcome data were collected during the inpatient stay and 16 months post-operatively.

Results. Seventy-seven patients met inclusion criteria and were reviewed during inpatient stay; however, only 42 had documented post-operative outcomes. Of those, two patients died post-discharge and were not included in the 16-month follow-up. Comparison of results to published literature suggested that intermediate-length nails are comparable to short-length nails with regard to time in the operating room and estimated blood loss. The rate of blood transfusion was lower and length of hospital stay was shorter than in comparable studies of both short- and long-length nails. There were no post-operative periprosthetic fractures in the 16-month follow-up. This rate was lower than published rates for short and long nails. The hardware failure rate (3/42, 7.1%) of intermediate-length nails was higher than comparison studies of both short- and long-length nails.   

Conclusions. Patient outcomes for intermediate-length nails were similar to outcomes of shorter length nails. Utilization of the intermediate-length nail appears to be an effective treatment option for repair of intertrochanteric femur fractures. However, direct comparison is difficult since periprosthetic fracture rate may increase over time and nail length and hardware failure are not defined consistently in the literature.  Further study is needed with a larger sample size followed over a longer period of time to confirm our findings.






Original Research