Objective - To compare monotonic mechanical properties of gap-ostectomized third metacarpal bones (MC3) stabilized with an MP35N interlocking nail system with contralateral intact bones. Animals or Sample Population - Twenty-four pairs of cadaveric equine MC3s. Methods - Third metacarpal bones were divided into 4 mechanical testing groups (6 pairs per group): compression, palmarodorsal (PD) and mediolateral (ML) 4-point bending, and torsion. One MC3 from each pair was randomly selected as an intact specimen, and the contralateral gap ostectomized bone was stabilized with a 4-hole, 14-mm-diameter, 250-mm-long, MP35N intramedullary nail, and four, 7-mm-diameter, 60-mm-long MP35N interlocking screws (constructs). Mechanical testing properties were compared between intact specimens and constructs with a paired t test (significance set at P < .05). Results - Intact specimens were significantly stronger and suffer than constructs in all testing modes except PD bending. Constructs achieved mean yield strengths that were 57% (compression), 81% (PD bending), 68% (ML bending), and 78% (torque) of intact specimens. Constructs achieved mean stiffnesses that were 53% (compression), 58% (PD bending), 41% (ML bending), and 47% (torque) of intact specimens. Conclusion - Monotonic yield mechanical properties of MP35N intramedullary interlocking nail-stabilized, gap-ostectomized MC3 were lower than those of paired intact bones but exceeded reported in vivo loads for dorsopalmar bending and compression and estimated in vivo torsional loads. Clinical Relevance - Considering the benefits associated with intramedullary interlocking nail fixation of fractures, this system should be considered for use for repair of MC3 fractures with applicable fracture configurations.
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