Computational Comparison of Reamed versus Unreamed Intramedullary Tibial Nails

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Abstract

We compared, via a computational model, the biomechanical performance of reamed versus unreamed intramedullary tibial nails to treat fractures in three different locations: proximal, mid-diaphyseal, and distal. Two finite element models were analyzed for the two nail types and the three kinds of fractures. Several biomechanical variables were determined: interfragmentary strains in the fracture site, von Mises stresses in nails and bolts, and strain distributions in the tibia and fibula. Although good mechanical stabilization was achieved in all the simulated fractures, the best results were obtained in the proximal fracture for the unreamed nail and in the mid-diaphyseal and distal fractures for the reamed nail. The interlocking bolts, in general, were subjected to higher stresses in theunreamedtibial nail than in the reamed one; thus the former stabilization technique is more likely to fail due to fatigue. © 2006 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 25:191–200, 2007

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