Closed intramedullary nailing with percutaneous cement augmentation for long bone metastases

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The purpose of the study was to investigate whether closed intramedullary (IM) nailing with percutaneous cement augmentation is better than conventional closed nailing at relieving pain and suppressing tumours in patients with metastases of the femur and humerus.

Patients and Methods

A total of 43 patients (27 men, 16 women, mean age 63.7 years, standard deviation (SD) 12.2; 21 to 84) underwent closed IM nailing with cement augmentation for long bone metastases. A further 27 patients, who underwent conventional closed IM nailing, served as controls. Pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) score pre-operatively (pre-operative VAS), one week post-operatively (immediate post-operative VAS), and at six weeks postoperatively (follow-up post-operative VAS). Progression of the tumour was evaluated in subgroups of patients using F-18-fludeoxyglucose (F-18-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) and/or bone scintigraphy (BS), at a mean of 8.8 and 7.2 months post-operatively, respectively.


The mean pain scores of patients who underwent closed nailing with cement augmentation were significantly lower than those of the control patients post-operatively (immediate post-operative VAS: 3.8, SD 0.9versus6.0, SD 0.9; follow-up post-operative VAS: 3.3, SD 2.5versus6.6, SD 2.2; all p < 0.001). The progression of the metastasis was suppressed in 50% (10/20) of patients who underwent closed nailing with augmentation, but in only 8% (1/13) of those in the control group.


Percutaneous cement augmentation of closed IM nailing improves the relief of pain and limits the progression of the tumour in patients with metastases to the long bones.


Take home message: Percutaneous cement augmentation while performing closed IM nailing has some advantages for long bone metastases.

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