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Catastrophic Failure of a Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polyetheretherketone Tibial Intramedullary Nail

A Case Report

Loeb, Alexander E., MD1; Mitchell, Stuart L., MD1; Osgood, Greg M., MD1; Shafiq, Babar, MD1

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00096
Case Reports

Case: We present a case of a rare low-energy catastrophic failure of a carbon-fiber-reinforced polyetheretherketone tibial intramedullary nail at 10 weeks after placement in a 36-year-old man. We describe our experience with extraction of the device.

Conclusion: Carbon-fiber composite implants are approved for clinical use in orthopaedic trauma applications. The rare failure of carbon-fiber implants presents unique challenges because typical extraction techniques cannot be used. With the patient described herein, a terminally threaded guidewire was used to cannulate and extract the distal segment of the nail.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

E-mail address for B. Shafiq:

Copyright © 2018 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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