The Outcomes of Nonelongating Intramedullary Fixation of the Lower Extremity for Pediatric Osteogenesis Imperfecta Patients: A Meta-analysis

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Osteogenesis imperfecta is usually due to autosomal dominant mutations in type I collagen, leading to an increase in fractures and bone deformities, especially in the long bones of the lower extremities. The use of nonelongating intramedullary rods is an established surgical intervention to address such deformities. The rate of surgical complications has been reported to be as high as 187%, with revision rates as high as 90%, although exact global rates are unknown. As such, we sought to determine the published rates of (1) bone-related complications (including both fracture and deformity), (2) rod migration, and (3) complications that require reoperation.


Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, 1295 studies were evaluated. After cross-referencing, and applying specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 7 studies were included in the final cohort. Data were extracted from the studies and analyzed. Random effect models determined the complication rates of intramedullary nonelongating rod procedures.


A total of 359 primary nonelongating intramedullary rod procedures of tibiae and femurs, in patients with a mean age of 6 years (5.2 to 7.3 y), at a mean follow-up of 63 months (24 to 118 mo), were evaluated. 60% of the surgical procedures were on femurs, and 40% were on tibiae. The reoperation rate was 39.4%. The most common complication was rod migration, with a rate of 25.7%. The rate of bone-related complications was 19.5% including fractures (15.0%) and worsening bone deformity (4.3%).


This is the first meta-analysis to identify the rates of complication and reoperation in lower limb intramedullary fixation for pediatric osteogenesis imperfecta patients. This study has shown that rod migration is the most common complication, followed by bone-related complications including fractures and deformity. Reoperations occur after nearly 40% of all procedures due to rod migration or bone-related complications.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—retrospective meta-analysis.

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