Increased torsional stability by a novel femoral neck locking plate

Increased torsional stability by a novel femoral neck locking plate. The role of plate design and pin configuration in a synthetic bone block model, Brattgjerd et al. Clin. Biomech (2018) in press, accepted manuscript.

Abstract:

Background
In undisplaced femoral neck fractures, internal fixation remains the main treatment, with mechanical failure as a frequent complication. As torsional stable fixation promotes femoral neck fracture healing, the Hansson Pinloc® System with a plate interlocking pins, was developed from the original hook pins. Since its effect on torsional stability is undocumented the novel implant was compared with the original configurations.

Methods
Forty-two proximal femur models custom made of two blocks of polyurethane foam were tested. The medial block simulated the cancellous head, while the lateral was laminated with a glass fiber filled epoxy sheet simulating trochanteric cortical bone. Two hollow metal cylinders with a circumferential ball bearing in between mimicked the neck, with a perpendicular fracture in the middle. Fractures were fixated by two or three independent pins or by five configurations involving the interlocking plate (two pins with an optional peg in a small plate, or three pins in a small, medium or large plate). Six torsional tests were performed on each configuration to calculate torsional stiffness, torque at failure and failure energy.

Findings
The novel configurations improved parameters up to an average of 12.0 (stiffness), 19.3 (torque) and 19.9 (energy) times higher than the original two pins (P < 0.001). The plate, its size and its triangular configuration improved all parameters (P = 0.03), the plate being most effective, also preventing permanent failure (P < 0.001). Interpretation The novel plate design with its pin configuration enhanced torsional stability. To reveal clinical relevance a clinical study is planned.

Highlights:

  • The Hansson Pinloc® system increased torsional parameters with a factor of up to 20.
  • The plate per se, its size and its triangular configuration improved all parameters.
  • The plate itself was the most effective novel component of the fixation.
  • Torsional failure by twisting of the pins was prevented by the plate itself.

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