Increased torsional stability by a novel femoral neck locking plate. The role of plate design and pin configuration in a synthetic bone block model

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Abstract

Background:

In undisplaced femoral neck fractures, internal fixation remains the main treatment, with mechanical failure as a frequent complication. As torsional stable fixation promotes femoral neck fracture healing, the Hansson Pinloc® System with a plate interlocking pins, was developed from the original hook pins. Since its effect on torsional stability is undocumented, the novel implant was compared with the original configurations.

Methods:

Forty-two proximal femur models custom made of two blocks of polyurethane foam were tested. The medial block simulated the cancellous head, while the lateral was laminated with a glass fiber filled epoxy sheet simulating trochanteric cortical bone. Two hollow metal cylinders with a circumferential ball bearing in between mimicked the neck, with a perpendicular fracture in the middle. Fractures were fixated by two or three independent pins or by five configurations involving the interlocking plate (two pins with an optional peg in a small plate, or three pins in a small, medium or large plate). Six torsional tests were performed on each configuration to calculate torsional stiffness, torque at failure and failure energy.

Findings:

The novel configurations improved parameters up to an average of 12.0 (stiffness), 19.3 (torque) and 19.9 (energy) times higher than the original two pins (P < 0.001). The plate, its size and its triangular configuration improved all parameters (P = 0.03), the plate being most effective, also preventing permanent failure (P < 0.001).

Interpretation:

The novel plate design with its pin configuration enhanced torsional stability. To reveal clinical relevance a clinical study is planned.

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