The evolution of femoral shaft plating technique
Fracture Fixation, Internal
There has been an evolution in the AO/Association for the Study of Internal Fixation plating technique during the past 3 decades that includes the use of longer plates and fewer plate screws, fewer lag screws outside the plate, fewer unicortical screws at the plate periphery, and greater use of the 95 degrees blade plate to achieve balanced fixation of proximal and distal shaft fractures. These changes reflect an evolving technique of plate osteosynthesis that emphasizes indirect reduction techniques, biologic internal fixation, and improved biomechanics. Outcome data suggest that there has been an improvement with time that is reflected by shorter time to union, a decrease in the frequency of implant failures, delayed unions, nonunions, malunions, number of reoperations, and in overall rate of failure. The best predictor of success was the length of plate by logistic regression analysis. With the evolution of plating techniques and a greater emphasis on biology of fracture healing, the incidence of complications and failures has decreased after femoral shaft plating. Plate osteosynthesis of the femoral shaft is particularly advantageous in many situations and can be quite successful (87% success rate in Group III).