Open Access Research article

2D-fluoroscopic based navigation for Gamma 3 nail insertion versus conventional procedure- a feasibility study

A Wilharm*, I Marintschev, G O Hofmann and F Gras

Author Affiliations

Department of Trauma-, Hand- and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, Jena 07747, Germany

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:74  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-74

Published: 28 February 2013



Intramedullary nailing is a standard surgical procedure for fixation of proximal femoral fractures, but is associated with considerable radiation exposure for controlling the implant placement, due to the percutaneous insertion technique.

The aim of this study was the evaluation of potential benefits of 2D-fluoroscopic based navigation focused on the reduction of radiation exposure, a decrease of procedure time, as well as an increase of accuracy for Gamma3 nail insertions.


Twenty randomized Gamma3 nail insertions were performed in non-fractured synthetic femora according to the manufactures operation guidelines (group I) or with use of a 2D-fluoroscopic based navigation system (group II). Time of different steps of the procedure and the radiation exposure were measured, as well as the accuracy evaluated in postoperative CT scans.

Results and discussion

All Gamma3 nails were placed without any technical problems. Independent of the used procedure, the overall operating time (group I: 584 ± 99.2 sec; group II: 662 ± 64.9 sec; p=0.06) and accuracy of the final nail-positions were equivalent, but the radiation exposure was significantly reduced (92% reduction in fluoroscopic images and 91% reduction in fluoroscopic time, p< 0.01), using the 2D fluoroscopic based navigation procedure.


2D-fluoroscopic based navigation for Gamma3 nail insertion facilitates a relevant reduction of radiation exposure with equivalent accuracy of the final implant position and no prolonged operating time. This promising procedure modification is independent of different cephalomedullary implant manufacturers and specific implant designs, but needs to be evaluated in further clinical settings.

Femoral fracture; Navigation; Gamma nail; Geriatric traumatology; Computer assisted surgery; Fluoroscopic navigation; Proximal femoral nailing; Cephalomedullary nail; Trochanteric fracture; Radiation exposure