Intramedullary Nailing: Evolutions of Femoral Intramedullary Nailing: First to Fourth Generations

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Intramedullary femoral nailing is the gold standard for femoral shaft fixation but only in the past 27 years. This rapid replacement of closed traction and cast techniques in North America was a controversial and contentious evolution in surgery. As we enter the fourth generation of implant design, capabilities, and surgical technique, it is important to understand the driving forces for this technology. These forces included changes in radiographic imaging capabilities, biomaterial design and computer-assisted manufacturing, and the recognition of the importance of mobilization of the trauma patient to avoid systemic complications and optimize functional recovery.

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