Locked Plating Versus Retrograde Intramedullary Nailing for Distal Femur Fractures: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis



1 Department of Orthopaedics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India

2 Department of Orthopaedics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India.


Modern advances in techniques and implants have allowed for a better operative fixation for distal femoral fractures. Both locked plating and retromedullary nail have allowed surgeons to stabilize these fractures with minimal soft tissue dissection and preserve blood supply. Although both the implants have been used extensively for such types of fractures, the superiority of one implant over the other is still doubtful. Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis to compare locked plating and retrograde intramedullary nailing in distal femoral fractures. Based on prisma guidelines, electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Ovid Medline were searched using a well-defined search strategy. Outcome measures which were studied included blood loss, implant failure, infection, knee range of motion, malunion, non-union, pain, surgical duration and union time Surgical duration (95% CI 2.90 to 17.13, p <0.01) and blood loss (95% CI 69.60 to123.18, p <0.01) favoured plating group and the difference is significant. But while analysing parameters like implant failure, knee range of motion, non-union and union time, our analysis favoured nailing group, but the difference is not significant. Overall, both locked plating and retrograde intramedullary nailing are comparable with respect to union and complications in distal femur fractures, but we need further larger and high quality randomized studies to evaluate the difference. Level of evidence: Therapeutic-Level II


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