Comparison of Biomechanical Characteristics and Pelvic Ring Stability Using Different Fixation Methods to Treat Pubic Symphysis Diastasis: A Finite Element Study

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The intention of this study was to compare the biomechanical characteristics using 5 internal fixation methods used clinically to stabilize a pubic symphysis diastasis (PSD, Tile type B1).

A 3-dimensional finite element model of PSD was simulated using 5 implants, including single superior plate (Single-Plate), superior and anterior plate (Dual-Plate), single cannulated screw (Single-Screw), crossed dual cannulated screws (Cross-Screw), and parallel dual cannulated screws (Para-Screw). Three loads were distributed in all models, including dual-leg standing, single-leg stance, and rotation. To evaluate the biomechanical properties, the construct stiffness, the stress distribution, and the von Misses stress were recorded and analyzed. To evaluate pelvic ring stability, the micromotion of the pubic symphysis and iliosacral joint was analyzed.

Disruption of pubic symphysis dramatically decreased the pelvic ring stability. Cross-screw and Para-Screw showed higher stiffness than other methods. All implants endured the maximum von Misses stress under single-leg stance. For Plate-Screw system, the maximum stress occurred at a place where it strides over pubic symphysis and adjacent Plate-Screw interface. The single implant and Para-Screw had a tendency to fail. Para-Screw showed the best fixation effect under dual-leg conditions. Cross-screw showed superior antishearing force capacity under single-leg stance. Dual-Plate provided maximum antihorizontal rotation. Para-Screw provided the maximum stabilization for the posterior pelvic ring.

This study showed the biomechanical advantages of dual-implant for PSD only from the finite element view. The Para-Screw provided high construct stiffness under 3 load conditions. The single implant and Para-Screw had a tendency to fail. The better anterior and posterior pelvic stabilization were obtained by the dual-implant fixation than other methods. Therefore, the Cross-Screw and Dual-Plate fixation methods should be preferred in the treatment of pubic symphysis from the finite element view.

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