Intramedullary Nailing Versus Plates for Femoral Shaft Fractures in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with Minimum 1-year Follow-Up

Investigator: David Shearer, MD
Sponsor: Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation

Location(s): Tanzania


This is a prospective observational study of patients with femur fractures in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania comparing two different surgical techniques: intramedullary nailing (IMN) and open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) with a plate. The primary outcome is the rate of reoperation for any reason, and the secondary outcomes are fracture healing, return to work, and health-related quality-of-life. The investigators hypothesize that there will be a difference in the rate of reoperation for patients with femur fractures treated with an IMN compared to ORIF with a plate.

The study will be a prospective clinical trial conducted at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. All adult patients with diaphyseal femur fractures meeting the eligibility criteria will be invited to enroll. Study subjects will be treated at the discretion of the surgeons at MOI. This could include an intramedullary nail, a plate, external fixation, or skeletal traction. Potential confounders recorded will be age, gender, body mass index, comorbidities, fracture pattern, open versus closed injury, time from injury to presentation, time from presentation to surgery, and associated injuries. The primary outcome considered will be reoperation for any reason. Secondary outcomes will be clinical union, defined as full-painless weight bearing on the injured extremity, radiographic union, return to work, and health-related quality-of-life. Follow up will be scheduled at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery and will include both clinical and radiographic evaluation.