Retrograde nailing of femoral fractures: a retrospective study

Sagar Shah, Pingal Desai, Varatharaj Mounasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Retrograde femoral nailing is a common method to repair femoral shaft fractures in polytrauma patients. Studies have reported varying incidences of complications associated with retrograde femoral nailing such as knee pain, nonunion, and arthrofibrosis. The objective of this retrospective study was to describe healing and complication rates of 31 patients who underwent retrograde femoral nailing at our academic medical center. Methods: Clinical notes and radiographs were reviewed retrospectively. Data points such as demographics, fracture location on femur, time to union after surgery, presence or absence of comminution, associated injuries, and complications were assessed. Results: Average time to union was 4.69 months with no statistically significant relationship found between time to union and age, sex, comminution, or location of fracture. Knee pain was present in 23 % of patients, and distal screw removal was necessary in 19.4 % of patients. Discussion: Retrograde femoral nailing is an effective method of femoral shaft fracture fixation in polytrauma patients. The healing rate of femoral shaft fractures fixed with a retrograde nail is the same regardless of location of fracture, age, sex, or comminution. Prevention of tip of nail lying into the knee and early physical therapy are important to prevent arthrofibrosis knee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1097
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 27 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Femoral shaft fractures
  • Retrograde femoral nail
  • Retrospective study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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