A biomechanical comparison of headless tapered variable pitch and AO cortical bone screws for fixation of a simulated lateral condylar fracture in equine third metacarpal bones

Larry D. Galuppo, Susan M. Stover, David G. Jensen, Neil H. Willits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Objective - To compare drilling, tapping, and screw-insertion torque, force, and time for the 4.5-mm AO and 6.5-mm Acutrak Plus® (AP) bone screws, and to compare the mechanical shear strength and stiffness of a simulated complete lateral condylar fracture of the equine third metacarpal bone (MC3) stabilized with either an AO or AP screw. Study Design - In vitro biomechanical assessment of screw-insertion variables, and shear failure tests of a bone-screw-stabilized simulated lateral condylar fracture. Sample Population - Eight pairs of cadaveric equine MC3s Methods - Metacarpi were placed in a fixture and centered on a biaxial load cell in a materials-testing system to measure torque, compressive force, and time for drilling, tapping, and screw insertion. Standardized simulated lateral condylar fractures were stabilized by either an AO or AP screw and tested in shear until failure. A paired t test was used to assess differences between screws, with significance set at P < .05. Results - Insertion and mechanical shear testing variables were comparable for AO and AP insertion equipment and screws. Conclusion - The 6.5-mm tapered AP screw can be inserted in equine third metacarpal condyles and is mechanically comparable with the 4.5-mm AO screw for fixation of a simulated lateral condylar fracture. Clinical Relevance - Considering the comparable mechanical behavior, the potential for less-persistent soft-tissue irritation with the headless design, and the ability to achieve interfragmentary compression by inserting the screw in one hole drilled perpendicular to the fracture plane, the 6.5-mm tapered AP screw may be an attractive alternative for repair of incomplete lateral condylar fractures in horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-340
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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