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In vitro comparison of the use of two large-animal, centrally threaded, positive-profile transfixation pin designs in the equine third metacarpal bone

Sophie MorissetDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.

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Scott R. McClureDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.

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Ben M. HillberryDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.

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Kate E. FisherDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare the in vitro holding power and associated microstructural damage of 2 large-animal centrally threaded positive-profile transfixation pins in the diaphysis of the equine third metacarpal bone.

Sample Population—25 pairs of adult equine cadaver metacarpal bones.

Procedure—Centrally threaded positive-profile transfixation pins of 2 different designs (ie, self-drilling, self-tapping [SDST] vs nonself-drilling, nonself-tapping [NDNT] transfixation pins) were inserted into the middiaphysis of adult equine metacarpal bones. Temperature of the hardware was measured during each step of insertion with a surface thermocouple. Bone and cortical width, transfixation pin placement, and cortical damage were assessed radiographically. Resistance to axial extraction before and after cyclic loading was measured using a material testing system. Microstructural damage caused by transfixation pin insertion was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy.

Results—The temperature following pin insertion was significantly higher for SDST transfixation pins. Periosteal surface cortical fractures were found in 50% of the bones with SDST transfixation pins and in none with NDNT transfixation pins. The NDNT transfixation pins were significantly more resistant to axial extraction than SDST transfixation pins. Grossly and microscopically, NDNT transfixation pins created less damage to the bone and a more consistent thread pattern.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In vitro analysis revealed that insertion of NDNT transfixation pins cause less macroscopic and microscopic damage to the bone than SDST transfixation pins. The NDNT transfixation pins have a greater pull out strength, reflecting better initial bone transfixation pin stability. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1298–1303)

Abstract

Objective—To compare the in vitro holding power and associated microstructural damage of 2 large-animal centrally threaded positive-profile transfixation pins in the diaphysis of the equine third metacarpal bone.

Sample Population—25 pairs of adult equine cadaver metacarpal bones.

Procedure—Centrally threaded positive-profile transfixation pins of 2 different designs (ie, self-drilling, self-tapping [SDST] vs nonself-drilling, nonself-tapping [NDNT] transfixation pins) were inserted into the middiaphysis of adult equine metacarpal bones. Temperature of the hardware was measured during each step of insertion with a surface thermocouple. Bone and cortical width, transfixation pin placement, and cortical damage were assessed radiographically. Resistance to axial extraction before and after cyclic loading was measured using a material testing system. Microstructural damage caused by transfixation pin insertion was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy.

Results—The temperature following pin insertion was significantly higher for SDST transfixation pins. Periosteal surface cortical fractures were found in 50% of the bones with SDST transfixation pins and in none with NDNT transfixation pins. The NDNT transfixation pins were significantly more resistant to axial extraction than SDST transfixation pins. Grossly and microscopically, NDNT transfixation pins created less damage to the bone and a more consistent thread pattern.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In vitro analysis revealed that insertion of NDNT transfixation pins cause less macroscopic and microscopic damage to the bone than SDST transfixation pins. The NDNT transfixation pins have a greater pull out strength, reflecting better initial bone transfixation pin stability. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1298–1303)