A Locking Contoured Plate for Distal Fibular Fractures: Mechanical Evaluation in an Osteoporotic Bone Model Using Screws of Different Length

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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Robert K. ZahnCharité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin
University Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Michael JakubietzUniversity Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Sönke FreyUniversity Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Stefanie DohtUniversity Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Alexander SauerUniversity Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Rainer H. MeffertUniversity Hospital of Wuerzburg

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Osteoporotic bone with poor mechanical capacity provides limited stability after fixation of ankle fractures. Stabilization with an implant providing increased fixation strength in osteoporotic bone could reduce failure rates of fixation and allow a more functional treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a locking contoured plate for fixation of distal fibular fractures in comparison with a conventional contoured plate in an osteoporotic bone model. Eighty cylinders of osteoporotic bone surrogates were fixed with the two plates. We performed torque-to-failure and cyclic testing experiments using screws of different length with a Zwick/Roell testing machine. The locking system showed higher torque-to-failure and maximum torque levels as compared with the conventional plate in torque-to-failure experiments and torsional cyclic testing. The locking contoured plate provides improved fixation strength in the osteoporotic bone model. The locking system may be appropriate for fixation of distal fibular fractures, especially in osteoporotic bone with poor mechanical capacity.

Robert K. Zahn (Corresponding Author) is with the Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Michael Jakubietz, Sönke Frey, Stefanie Doht, Alexander Sauer, and Rainer H. Meffert are with the Department of Trauma, Hand-, Plastic- and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany.

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