A metal rod forced into the medullary cavity of long, weight-bearing bones–e.g., femur, tibia, which allows ambulation within weeks rather than months*. They have a cloverleaf appearance on cross-section and are made of titanium, which has a lower rate of mechanical failure and improved biocompatibility.
Complications Persistent knee pain–present in 3/4 of patients, arthritis–1/3, and atrophy of the quadriceps and calf muscles–1/4.
*Which was the norm before Herr Doktor Gerhard Küntscher came up with the intramedullary nail in 1939 as a way of getting German soldiers off their keisters back to the front to fight für Führer und Vaterland.
Synonyms Inter-locking nail, intramedullary rod, Küntscher nail, Küntscher rod, medullary nail, medullary rod