Experimental investigations for mechanical joint strength following ultrasonically welded pin osteosynthesis

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether fixation of cranial bone segments using ultrasonically welded pin osteosynthesis showed differences in mechanical stability as compared to fixation of cranial bone segments using screw osteosynthesis. Right and left cranial bone segments from each of 16 young sheep were obtained by craniotomy and re-fixed: on the right with a mesh plate and pins, and on the left with a mesh plate and screws. All osteosynthesis materials consisted of PDLLA, fully amorphous polyactid. A total of 167 cranial bone / mesh plate segments from 16 animals were investigated; 84 segments were pin-fixed and 83 segments were screw-fixed. The implantation time of the re-fixed segments ranged from 1 day to 196 days. The mechanical methods chosen for simulation of stress on the bone segment bonds were two bending tests (horizontal and vertical directions) and a tensile test. The values obtained in the mechanical tests indicate differences in the bond strength between the pin- and screw- fixation methods over the length of in vivo implantation time. The mechanical stability of the ultrasonically welded pin osteosynthesis bonds over the screw osteosynthesis bonds proved to be statistically significant. The implication of these findings should also be relevant in the field of medicine.

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