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Intramedullary Rod

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Updated May 30, 2014

Intramedullary Rod

This patient had a metal rod (intramedually rod) placed within her broken tibia to realign the bone and hold the tibia fracture in position.

X-Ray Image © Jonathan Cluett, MD
Definition: Intramedullary (IM) rods are used to align and stabilize fractures. IM rods are inserted into the bone marrow canal in the center of the long bones of the extremities (e.g. femur or tibia).

One of the significant advantages of IM rods over other methods of fixation is IM rods share the load with the bone, rather that entirely support the bone. Because of this, patients are able to use the extremity more quickly.

IM rods cannot be used for all fractures, and there are often associated complaints of pain and other symptoms at the site the IM rods are inserted. For this reason, a second operation may be needed to remove the IM device if you have painful symptoms. Otherwise, the IM nail can usually stay inside your bone forever.

Also Known As: Intramedullary Nail; IM Rod; Dynamic Intramedullary Rod
Common Misspellings: Intermeduallary Rod
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