Carbon Fiber–Reinforced PEEK Versus Titanium Tibial Intramedullary Nailing: A Preliminary Analysis and Results

This article was originally published here

Standard titanium nails (TN) or carbon fiber–reinforced PEEK nails (CFN) were compared to evaluate impact of material on fracture union, healing time, knee/ankle, and barometric pain.
Longitudinal cohort evaluated retrospectively comparing 2 periods using 2 implant types.
Single surgeon series at one Level II Trauma Center.
Standardized treatment protocol. Fifty-six tibial fracture patients suitable for intramedullary nailing over 5-year period.
First period—TN; second period—CFN.
Main Outcome:
Measurements: standard demographic data: OTA/AO fracture classification, fracture location, and nail type. Outcome parameters: cumulative healing at standard time intervals, infection/nonunion, associated injuries, knee/ankle, barometric pain, and implant removal. Statistical analysis comparing incident healing.
Patient populations were not statistically different regarding demographics and fracture type/location, although there was a trend toward greater fracture severity/more associated injuries in CFN group. In 56 patients, 26 received CFN and 30 received TN. Healing rates were reported at each time interval. 8 weeks: TN—0%, CFN—19%; 12 weeks: TN—17%, CFN—69%; 16 weeks: TN—57%, CFN—92%; 20 weeks: TN—87%, CFN—96%; and 24 weeks: TN—97%, CFN—96% (P