Biomechanical analysis of an interference screw and a novel twist lock screw design for bone graft fixation

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Abstract

Background:

Malpositioning of an anterior cruciate ligament graft during reconstruction can occur during screw fixation. The purpose of this study is to compare the fixation biomechanics of a conventional interference screw with a novel Twist Lock Screw, a rectangular shaped locking screw that is designed to address limitations of graft positioning and tensioning.

Methods:

Synthetic bone (10, 15, 20 lb per cubic foot) were used simulating soft, moderate, and dense cancellous bone. Screw push-out and graft push-out tests were performed using conventional and twist lock screws. Maximum load and torque of insertion were measured.

Findings:

Max load measured in screw push out with twist lock screw was 64%, 60%, 57% of that measured with conventional screw in soft, moderate and dense material, respectively. Twist lock max load was 78% and 82% of that with conventional screw in soft and moderate densities. In the highest bone density, max loads were comparable in the two systems. Torque of insertion with twist lock was significantly lower than with conventional interference screw.

Interpretation:

Based on geometric consideration, the twist lock screw is expected to have 35% the holding power of a cylindrical screw. Yet, results indicate that holding power was greater than theoretical consideration, possibly due to lower friction and lower preloaded force. During graft push out in the densest material, comparable max loads were achieved with both systems, suggesting that fixation of higher density bone, which is observed in young athletes that require reconstruction, can be achieved with the twist lock screw.

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