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What is an Intramedullary Nail?

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An Intramedullary Nail or Rod, is generally a metal rod, surgically embedded into the cavity of the bone; it has long been used to treat fractures of the longer bones in the human body. Gerhard Küntscher was accredited for its first application in 1939, to treat soldiers, returning from World War 2 with femur fractures; treatment for which, at that time, was limited to traction or plaster; both systems which required long periods of inactivity. This invention enabled the patients to return to activity within a matter of weeks, as the load of the bone is a shared with the nail, rather than just supporting the bone, as in an external fixator system.

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