Biomechanical properties of volar hybrid and locked plate fixation in distal radius fractures

Shima C. Sokol, Derek F. Amanatullah, Shane Curtiss, Robert M Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: We compare the biomechanical properties of a volar hybrid construct to an all-locking construct in an osteoporotic and normal comminuted distal radius fracture model. Methods: Groups of 28 normal, 28 osteoporotic, and 28 over-drilled osteoporotic left distal radius synthetic bones were used. The normal group consisted of synthetic bone with a standard foam core. The osteoporotic group consisted of synthetic bone with decreased foam core density. The over-drilled osteoporotic group consisted of synthetic bone with decreased foam core density and holes drilled with a 2.3 mm drill, instead of the standard 2.0 mm drill, to simulate the lack of purchase in osteoporotic bone. Within each group, 14 synthetic bones were plated with a volar locking plate using an all-locking screw construct, and 14 synthetic bones were plated with a volar locking plate using a hybrid screw construct (ie, both locking and nonlocking screws). A 1-cm dorsal wedge osteotomy was created with the apex 2 cm from the volar surface of the lunate facet. Each specimen was mounted to a materials testing machine, using a custom-built, standardized axial compression jig. Axial compression was delivered at 1 N/s over 3 cycles from 20 N to 100 N to establish stiffness. Each sample was stressed to failure at 1 mm/s until 5 mm of permanent deformation occurred. Results: Our results show no difference in construct stiffness and load at failure between the all-locking and hybrid constructs in the normal, osteoporotic, or over-drilled osteoporotic synthetic bone models. All specimens failed by plate bending at the osteotomy site with loss of height. Clinical Relevance: Although volar locking plates are commonly used for the treatment of distal radius fractures, the ideal screw configuration has not been determined. Hybrid fixation has comparable biomechanical properties to all locking constructs in the fixation of metaphyseal fractures about the knee and shoulder and might also have a role in the fixation of distal radius fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Biomechanical
  • distal radius fracture
  • hybrid fixation
  • internal fixation
  • locking
  • volar plate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

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