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Effect of various distal ring-block configurations on the biomechanical properties of circular external skeletal fixators for use in dogs and cats

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and the Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Present address is Georgia Veterinary Specialists, 455 Abernathy Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30328.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and the Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 4 Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science, College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 5 Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science, College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate mediolateral, axial, torsional, and craniocaudal bending behavior of 6 distal ring-block configurations commonly used to stabilize short juxta-articular bone segments in small animals.

Sample Population—8 circular external skeletal fixator constructs of each of 6 distal ring-block configurations. The distal ring-block configurations were composed of combinations of complete rings, incomplete rings, and drop wires.

Procedure—Constructs were nondestructively loaded in axial compression, craniocaudal bending, mediolateral bending, and torsional loading by use of a materials testing machine. Gap stiffness was determined by use of the resultant load displacement curve.

Results—Circular external skeletal fixator configurations and constructs significantly affected gap stiffness in all testing modes. Within each loading mode, gap stiffness was significantly different among most configurations. In general, complete ring configurations were significantly stiffer than similar incomplete ring configurations, and addition of a drop wire to a configuration significantly increased stiffness of that configuration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When regional anatomic structures permit, the use of complete ring configurations is preferred over incomplete ring configurations. When incomplete ring configurations are used, the addition of a drop wire is recommended. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:393–398)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate mediolateral, axial, torsional, and craniocaudal bending behavior of 6 distal ring-block configurations commonly used to stabilize short juxta-articular bone segments in small animals.

Sample Population—8 circular external skeletal fixator constructs of each of 6 distal ring-block configurations. The distal ring-block configurations were composed of combinations of complete rings, incomplete rings, and drop wires.

Procedure—Constructs were nondestructively loaded in axial compression, craniocaudal bending, mediolateral bending, and torsional loading by use of a materials testing machine. Gap stiffness was determined by use of the resultant load displacement curve.

Results—Circular external skeletal fixator configurations and constructs significantly affected gap stiffness in all testing modes. Within each loading mode, gap stiffness was significantly different among most configurations. In general, complete ring configurations were significantly stiffer than similar incomplete ring configurations, and addition of a drop wire to a configuration significantly increased stiffness of that configuration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When regional anatomic structures permit, the use of complete ring configurations is preferred over incomplete ring configurations. When incomplete ring configurations are used, the addition of a drop wire is recommended. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:393–398)