The femur and Tibia are two of the longest bones in the human skeletal system. A fracture in long bones like these, need supporting rods, or as we call them interlocking nails. It is a metal rod forced into the medullary cavity of a bone to fix and support the fractured bone.
The intramedullary rod or Küntscher nail as it was called named after the person Gerhard Küntscher who first used the device in 1939 during the World War II. He used it to fix the fractured femur bones of the injured soldiers. Prior to that, the method of treatment was very long and required the patient to be inactive for long periods. They were either treated by using a plaster or traction. The invention of intramedullary rod changed the pace of recovery of the patient to much faster and more stable.
What are the Interlocking Rods made up of?
The earlier rods were made up of stainless steel. However, now most companies use titanium to make these rods. The advantage of titanium over steel is that it has lower mechanical failure rates and is biocompatible with the body. There was also the change in the design from the earlier rods by introducing the concept of locking nails using bolts on each end of the nail. This was more durable and fixed the bones with better strength.
Does the Insertion of the Rod in the Human Body cause any Complication?
In most cases there are no complications after the insertion of the rod in the human body but there may be long term complications in some of the patients. These complications may include knee pain, atrophy of the calf muscle, atrophy of the quadriceps, and arthritis. There are also chances of Venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Different Types of Nails
- Femoral interlocking nails
- Tibial interlocking nails
- Humeral interlocking nails
- Locking bolts
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