Last updated on March 2019

Pediatric Femur Fracture Registry

Brief description of study

Prospective data collection and evaluation of complete data sets will be performed in the course of routine clinical care of a cohort of consecutive patients (children up to 16 years old) presenting with an isolated femur shaft fracture. Data will be collected during follow-up visits at 3 to 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months, with additional follow-up visits as needed or dictated by individual practice. Final follow-up will be at 24 months, unless a patient requires additional follow-up or another intervention to address an unfavorable outcome (e.g. malalignment, nonunion, limb length discrepancy) noted at the 24 month follow-up visit.

Detailed Study Description

There is limited evidence about the comparative effectiveness of different treatments for pediatric femur fractures. The most common method used for isolated femur shaft fractures of children older than 5 years of age is elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN). It is thought to be the ideal indication for children up to the age of 10 to 12 and it is the most commonly employed method of internal fixation in this age group, but other treatments include external fixation, plating, other forms of flexible or rigid intramedullary nailing and non-operative options such as spica casts or traction. In children under the age of 5 non-operative methods are believed to work well with few complications. Imperfect alignment is more acceptable because of the tremendous remodelling potential in young growing children. Internal fixation is believed to be unnecessary as it is more invasive, with some risk of complications and likely need for a second surgical procedure to remove it. Biomechanical properties are different in this age group. Consequently, operative treatment of these fractures is generally not recommended in children under the age of 3 according to the German guidelines (, not under the age of 5 in the American guidelines (; and in Great Britain, surgical management in preschool children is restricted to polytrauma and complex injuries (

Despite these recommendations and the general acceptance of non-operative treatment for younger children , a survey of clinical practice in Germany revealed that 50% of children under the age of 3 years are treated with ESIN, because some surgeons believe that patients seem less comfortable when treated with traction or spica casting and might experience a higher rate of loss of reduction. Consequently, the use of ESIN for fractures in preschool children has become more prevalent in the last years.

Similarly, there is wide variation in the preferred management of femoral shaft fractures in older children, with little evidence about the comparative effectiveness of different treatments for pediatric femur fractures. There is an imperative to collect prospective data to generate higher quality evidence.

The purpose of this proposed registry is to collect the clinical outcomes (fracture healing & patient reported outcomes and complications) of the treatment of isolated femur shaft fractures in children up to skeletal maturity. Additionally, health economic aspects will be evaluated to give possible recommendations from a health economic perspective.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03211546

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University of Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany
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Recruitment Status: Open

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