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J Hand Surg Br. 1999 Aug;24(4):476-81.

Intramedullary fixation by resorbable rods in a comminuted phalangeal fracture model. A biomechanical study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


The mechanical rigidity of three different methods of resorbable intramedullary fixation (bone peg, and polyglycolide rods with and without interlocking) was assessed in a comminuted phalangeal fracture model and the results compared with two commonly used internal fixation devices (lateral plate, crossed K-wires) in a cadaver model. Each fixation technique was tested for its biomechanical strength in apex palmar bending, compression and torsion. Failure testing for the three resorbable methods was also done. The results showed that lateral plating provided the best rigidity in apex palmar bending and torsion, followed by intramedullary bone peg fixation. All resorbable intramedullary fixations had rigidity that was at least the same as crossed K-wires. For the torque test, polyglycolide rods with interlocking provided better rigidity than without interlocking. There was no significant difference between the different methods in the compression test, except that the intramedullary bone peg was significantly stiffer than K-wires.

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