Elastic titanium nails help children recover faster from a broken leg than the traditional treatment with weeks of traction and a body cast, according to a new study from The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Children with the implanted nails got out of bed within days after surgery, were less dependent on their parents for help in moving, and had fewer complications than children in body casts.
"Weve shown that although both treatments usually have good outcomes, treatment with elastic nails allows children more rapid mobility and the ability to resume normal daily activities in half the time of the traditional traction and cast treatment," said Jack Flynn, M.D, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and primary investigator of this study. The research teams study appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Different than hardware nails, elastic nails are implanted flexible pins that are inserted into the broken bone to support the pieces while the bone heals. The nails are approximately 15 to 20 inches in length and about the width of a radio antenna. Often two nails are necessary for treatment of a fracture. Surgeons remove the nails after the fracture heals, typically six to nine months after surgery.
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