Complications using the Seidel intramedullary humeral nail: outcome in 31 patients.

Published online: Sep 27 1998

H Svend-Hansen, M Skettrup, and M W Rathcke.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Helsingør Hospital, Denmark.


Thirty-one patients with humeral shaft fractures were operated using the Seidel intramedullary humeral nail. Three categories of patients entered the study: 6 with pathological fractures, 7 with nonunion and 18 with severely displaced fractures. The operation could be considered a partial success only in the pathological fractures. The failure rate and complication rate were very high. Both complications not specific for the nail and some directly related to it were encountered. The latter consisted in loss of both proximal and distal fixation and refractures occurring at the distal end of the nail several weeks after surgery. In consequence we have discontinued using the nail.