Fractures of the femur are the most incapacitating fractures in children. Conservative treatment necessitates a long stay in hospital for traction and subsequent immobilisation in an uncomfortable cast. This treatment is not well tolerated, especially in adolescents. Moreover, near the end of growth, accurate reduction is necessary, as malunion is no longer correctable by growth. Stable elastic intramedullary nailing uses two flexible nails which are introduced percutaneously either through the lower metaphysis or the subtrochanteric area. This technique does not disturb the healing of the fracture. The elasticity of the device allows slight movement at the fracture site which favours union. Reduction and stabilisation are adequate and the operative risk is very low. A cast is not required, functional recovery is rapid and the patient is allowed to walk with crutches after seven to ten days according to the type of fracture. This technique is very efficient in adolescents and can be used after the age of seven years when conservative treatment is unsuccessful.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.