Interlocking nails are cylindrical implants that can be used for intramedullary stabilization of diaphyseal long bone fractures. In human medicine, they are often used with intraoperative fluoroscopy to facilitate fracture reduction and nail insertion and to make sure the nails are accurately placed. Since most veterinarians don't have access to fluoroscopy, use of interlocking nails was limited until systems were developed that allowed use of these nails without fluoroscopy. Interlocking nails can resist axial, rotational, and bending forces. An interlocking nail-bone construct subjected to torsional loading can spring back to its previous conformation even when considerable deformation occurs. In response to concerns, Innovative Animal Products revised its nail design so that screw placement can avoid the fracture without compromising stability. They also produce interlocking nails of various sizes that can be used in animals ranging from small to large. Each set includes appropriate drill jigs, extensions, and drill sleeves. These advances facilitate intramedullary interlocking nail fixation in veterinary medicine.

COMMENTARY: While not all of us will use interlocking nails to repair fractures, this article provides information on this method, which has been increasing in popularity. The article compares the biomechanics of interlocking nails with other commonly used fracture fixation methods in veterinary medicine and describes the instrumentation and implants in the Dueland interlocking nail system.

Intramedullary interlocking nail fixation in dogs and cats: biomechanics and instrumentation. Wheeler JL, Cross AR, Stubbs WB, et al. COMPEND CONTIN EDUC PRACT VET 26:519-529, 2004.