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Forschungsdatenbank PMU-SQQUID

Effect of angular stability and other locking parameters on the mechanical performance of intramedullary nails.
Hoffmann, S; Gerber, C; von Oldenburg, G; Kessler, M; Stephan, D; Augat, P
BIOMED ENG-BIOMED TE. 2015; 60(2): 157-164.
Originalarbeiten (Zeitschrift)


Augat Peter
Hoffmann Stefanie
Stephan Daniel


To extend the indications of intramedullary nails for distal or proximal fractures, nails with angle stable locking options have been developed. Studies on the mechanical efficacy of these systems have been inconsistent likely due to confounding variables such as number, geometry, or orientation of the screws, as well as differences in the loading mode. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify the effect of angular stability on the mechanical performance of intramedullary nails. The results could then be compared with the effects of various locking screw parameters and loading modes. A generic model was developed consisting of artificial bone material and titanium intramedullary nail that provided the option to systematically modify the locking screw configuration. Using a base configuration, the following parameters were varied: number of screws, distance and orientation between screws, blocking of screws, and simulation of freehand locking. Tension/compression, torsional, and bending loads were applied. Stiffness and clearance around the zero loading point were determined. Angular stability had no effect on stiffness but completely blocked axial clearance (p=0.003). Simulation of freehand locking reduced clearance for all loading modes by at least 70% (p<0.003). The greatest increases in torsional and bending stiffness were obtained by increasing the number of locking screws (up to 80%, p<0.001) and by increasing the distance between them (up to 70%, p<0.001). In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the mechanical performance of IM nailing can be affected by various locking parameters of which angular stability is only one. While angular stability clearly reduces clearance of the screw within the nail, mechanical stiffness depends more on the number of screws and their relative distance. Thus, optimal mechanical performance in IM nailing could potentially be obtained by combining angular stability with optimal arrangement of locking screws.

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fracture fixation