Bilateral femoral insuffiency fractures treated with inflatable intramedullary nails: a case report


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Abstract

Stress fractures could be classified as fatigue fractures and insufficiency fractures (IF). Fatigue fractures occur when abnormal mechanical stress is applied to a normal bone, on the other hand insufficiency fractures occur when normal to moderate pressure is applied to a bone that has decreased resistance (Daffner and Pavlov in Am J Radiol 159:242-245, 1992). IF have been observed mainly in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis, and are becoming more common with the increase of elderly population (Daffner and Pavlov in Am J Radiol 159:242-245, 1992). Other systemic and metabolic conditions that can result in osteopenia and IF include osteomalacia, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, fluoride treatment, diabetes mellitus, fibrous dysplasia, Paget's disease, irradiation and mechanical factors (Daffner and Pavlov in Am J Radiol 159:242-245, 1992; Soubrier et al. in Joint Bone Spine 70:209-218, 2003; Epps et al. in Am J Orthop 33:457-460, 2004; Austin and Chrissos in Orthopedics 28:795-797, 2005). In this case report, the authors present an osteoporotic woman who developed bilateral insufficiency fracture of the femoral shaft after longstanding steroid, thyroxine replacement and alendronate therapy due to partial empty sella syndrome and osteoporosis, resulting in the treatment of the fracture by inflatable intramedullary nailing.

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