Implantable intramedullary nail lengthening devices (e.g., PRECICE 2 system) have been proposed as alternative method to external fixation for lower limb lengthening surgery. The aim of this study was to analyse our outcomes and complications using the PRECICE 2 (P2) nail system and review them in light of the existing literature. A retrospective multicentre study was conducted on patients <18 years, who were treated for limb lengthening using the P2 system. The inclusion criteria were a limb length discrepancy ≥ 30 mm and a follow-up ≥6 months after the end of treatment. A total of 26 (15 males) patients were included, average age was 14.7 ± 2.3 years; 26 nails (21 femur, 5 tibia) were implanted. The average goal lengthening was 49.4 ± 12.4 mm, while average achieved lengthening was 44.4 ± 11.6 mm. Average distraction and consolidation indexes were 11.9 ± 2.1 days/cm and 25.1 ± 8.1 days/cm, respectively. Nail accuracy and reliability were 91.1% and 88.5%, respectively. A total of five problems (joint contractures), one obstacle (femur fracture) and three complications (hip joint subluxation, deep infection and nail running back) were encountered. The P2 nail system is a valid alternative to external fixator for limb lengthening in young patients with no significant angular or rotation deformities. Our study confirms a favourable complication rate and available evidence from literature suggests a lower complication rate than external fixator systems. Nevertheless, surgeons should keep a watchful eye on risk of joint subluxation and mechanical complications with intramedullary lengthening.
- PRECICE nail system
- intramedullary lengthening
- implantable limb lengthening system
- pathological short stature (PSS)
- limb length discrepancy