Can the Length of the Tibia Nail Be Predicted Correctly Before the Operation According to the Patient’s Height and Shoe Size?

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Şahin R.

CUREUS, vol.16, no.1, pp.1-6, 2024 (ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.7759/cureus.52653
  • Journal Name: CUREUS
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-6
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Although various methods have been identified for the appropriate tibial nail length, there are disadvantages such as extra time, radiation exposure, and additional cost. We aimed to predict the ideal length of the nail according to the patient's height and shoe size in the preoperative period to eliminate these disadvantages.

Materials and Methods: Between January 2018 and August 2023, the height and shoe size data of 71 patients who were diagnosed with tibial shaft fracture and had tibia intramedullary nail fixation were determined. A linear regression model was applied to the normally distributed data. The correlation coefficient between the variables was evaluated according to the Pearson correlation coefficient.

Results: While 1 1-centimeter (cm) increase in patient height causes an increase of 3.2 millimeters (mm) in nail length, it was found that it alone contributed by 89% to predicting the ideal nail length (p<0.001). An increase of 1 unit in shoe size (EU) causes an increase of 9 mm in nail length; its contribution to predicting the ideal nail length alone is 84% (p<0.001). In the evaluation of the patient's height and shoe size together, it was observed that they jointly contributed 91% to the accurate estimation of the nail length (p<0.001).

Conclusion: It may be risky to determine the tibial nail length only by shoe size or the patient's height. However, the correlation between them is strong. Therefore, by estimating nail lengths before the operation, the ideal nail length can be found by making fewer fluoroscopy checks during the operation.