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The Smith-Petersen Nail

Robert G. Thompson, MD
JAMA. 1967;199(3):223. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120030127038.
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To the Editor:—  In reviewing the article, "Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis," by Drs. Aufranc, Jones, and Turner (198:546, 1966), which was the FRACTURE OF THE MONTH, I was struck by the fact that apparently there are a few surgeons in this country who are still using Smith-Petersen nails to fix a slipped capital femoral epiphysis internally. The ensuing complication, distraction of the epiphyseal head by the nail, happens all too frequently with this type of internal fixation. I was also surprised at Dr. Aufranc's comment, "I think the choice of fixation device is less important than the skill with which the device is employed."It is quite obvious to me and others who have had any experience with the treatment of slipped capital femoral epiphysis, that any type of nail such as the Smith-Petersen, which has to be pounded into a small, hard femoral neck, risks lifting the femoral


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