A biomechanical comparison of double-plate and Y-plate fixation for comminuted equine second phalangeal fractures

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28 Scopus citations


Objectives - To compare the biomechanical properties, in full limb preparations, of intact second phalanx and a simulated comminuted second phalangeal fracture stabilized with either two bone plates or a custom Y-plate. Study Design - In vitro biomechanical assessment of intact limbs and of paired limbs with a simulated second phalangeal fracture stabilized by one of two fixation methods. Animal Population - Thirteen pairs of equine cadaveric forelimbs. Methods - A comminuted second phalangeal fracture was created in six paired cadaveric limbs. For each limb pair, the fracture was stabilized with two plates in one limb, and with a Y-plate in the contralateral limb. These limbs and seven pairs of intact limbs were subjected to axial compression in a single cycle until failure. Mechanical properties were compared with a mixed-model ANOVA and post hoc contrasts. Joint contact pressure, screw insertion torque, and final screw torque remaining after mechanical testing were also evaluated for constructs. Results - No significant differences in mechanical testing variables were detected between construct types. However, the Y-Plate construct had significantly greater yield load, yield displacement and yield energy, and failure load and stiffness values than those for intact specimens, whereas the double-plate construct only had greater stiffness than intact specimens. There were no significant differences in joint contact pressures for both constructs. The final screw torque for proximal phalangeal screws was significantly greater for the Y-plate constructs than for double-plate constructs. Conclusions - The Y-plate was as effective as the double-plate technique for stabilization of simulated comminuted second phalangeal fractures in monotonically tested equine cadaveric forelimbs. Clinical Relevance - This investigation supports evaluation of the Y-plate for repair of comminuted second phalangeal fractures in equine patients. Its specific design may facilitate repair of second phalangeal fractures, and may provide increased stability by allowing the proximal fragments of the second phalanx to be fixed with three screws placed through the plate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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