Between May 2001 to August 2004, 35 patients had open nailing of long bones. There were 40 fractures fixed. Of these 40 fractures, there were 25 femoral fractures, 11 were tibial fractures and 4 were humeral fractures. There were 33 (82.5%) closed fractures and 7 (17.5%) open fractures. In the group of patients with open fractures, there were two Grade I, two Grade II and three Grade IIIB. Seven (20%) patients were lost to follow-up; all of whom had closed fractures. The final analysis as it relates to complications was done using 28 patients with 32 fractures.
The majority of fractures healed without significant complication. All the patients with closed fractures went on to bony union. There was one non-union and three delayed unions. There were two infections (osteomyelitis) and this was from the open fracture cohort. This represents an infection rate of 28.6% in this cohort. Two (7.0%) patients had persistent pain and one (3.6%) patient had early removal of the nail because of failure of fixation. The mean time from injury to surgery for the fractured femur was 15.5 (range 0–49) days; fractured tibia 24.4 (range 0–40), days and fractured humerus 41.5 (20–81) days. The mean hospital stay was 18.9 (range 9–37) days for patients with fractured femur; for fractured tibia, it was 20.5 (range 3–82) days and for fractured humerus, it was 22.7 (range 3–82) days. The mean postoperative stay was 4.1 (range 1–14) days for fractured femur, 4.5 (range 1–14) days for fractured tibia and 4.0 (range 1–10) days for fractured humerus.
The mean time to healing (consolidation) as defined by X-rays was 5.0 (range 3–11) months for fractured femur, 5.2 ( range 3–11) months for tibia and 7.0 (range 6– 8) months for fractured humerus.