Citation Information :
Fawdington RA, Lotfi N, Beaven A, Fenton P. Does the Use of Blocking Screws Improve Radiological Outcomes Following Intramedullary Nailing of Distal Tibia Fractures?. 2019; 14 (1):11-14.
Aim: The aim of this study is to assess whether the addition of blocking screws during intramedullary nailing of a distal tibia fracture improved the radiological outcome and prevented a loss of fracture alignment. As a secondary outcome, the time to radiographic union was compared to see if a more rigid bone-implant construct had an effect on healing.
Methods: We searched computerized records at a UK level 1 major trauma center. The joint alignment was measured on the immediate postoperative radiograph and compared to the most recent radiograph. We used a difference of 2° to indicate a progressive deformity.
Results: Thirty patients were included. Twenty patients had no blocking screw and 10 patients had a blocking screw. Six patients had a difference in their coronal plane alignment of 2° or more (3/6 had no blocking screw). The results were analyzed and found to be not statistically significant (p = 0.82). The addition of a blocking screw has also been shown not to have an effect on the time to radiological union (RUST score greater or equal to 10).
Conclusion: We use a 2.5-mm blocking wire to aid in fracture reduction prior to reaming or nail insertion and then remove the wire when the nail has been adequately locked. We no longer routinely replace the wire with a blocking screw and this could lead to a decrease in procedure time, cost, and radiation exposure.
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