Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2018 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Measurement of wire deflection on loading may indicate union in Ilizarov constructs, an in vitro model

Beth Lineham, Todd Stewart, Paul Harwood

Keywords : Ilizarov, Frame, Wire deflection, Biomechanics

Citation Information : Lineham B, Stewart T, Harwood P. Measurement of wire deflection on loading may indicate union in Ilizarov constructs, an in vitro model. 2018; 13 (2):75-80.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0306-1

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 31-08-2018

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

No entirely reliable method exists for assessing union during Ilizarov treatment. Premature removal results in potential treatment failure; hence, alternative methods warrant investigation. Wire deflection might provide an indication of fracture site deformation on weight bearing, indicating progress towards union. This study aimed to test a method for assessing wire deflection within an Ilizarov frame. (1) To assess the repeatability of our novel measurement method in measuring wire deflection within an Ilizarov frame in vitro. (2) To compare the amount of wire deflection in an unstable model with that in an intact bone model. (3) To assess accuracy of this method by comparing wire deflection measured with overall machine extension. Tests were performed on clinical grade-tensioned fine wire 4-ring Ilizarov constructs stabilising a simulated fracture, with and without an unstable defect. Models were sequentially loaded to 700 N using an Instron testing machine. A digital depth gauge attached to the superior ring measured relative wire displacement at the ring closest to the fracture. Tests were repeated 3 times. (1) Both unstable and stable bone models produced highly repeatable load deformation curves (R2 = 0.98 and 0.99). (2) In the unstable model, wires tensioned at 882 and 1274 N produced mean maximum deflections of 2.41 and 2.69 mm compared with 0.05 and 0.04 mm in the intact bone model (significant p < 0.0001). (3) Wire deflection and machine extension results were strongly correlated (r = 0.99). A measurable difference in wire deflection between stable and unstable situations exists using this method which appears accurate and repeatable, with clear correlation between displacement and load and displacement and machine extension. This approach might be clinically applicable, and further clinical testing is required.


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