OBJECTIVE To assess the contribution of antirotational pins (ARPs) and an intact fibula to the compressive strength of 4 tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) constructs (bone and implants).
SAMPLE 20 hind limbs from 10 canine cadavers.
PROCEDURES Each hind limb was assigned to 1 of 4 TPLO constructs (construct in which the ARP was removed, constructs in which 1 or 2 ARPs were left in place, and construct in which the ARP was removed and the fibula was cut). Following TPLO completion, all limbs underwent mechanical testing that included 10,000 cycles of cyclic axial compression followed by testing to failure at a displacement rate of 1 mm/s. Displacement during cyclic testing; load generated at 0.5, 1.0, and 3.0 mm of displacement; ultimate load; and failure type were recorded for each limb. Mean values were compared among the groups.
RESULTS None of the specimens failed during cyclic testing. None of the variables assessed during mechanical testing differed significantly among the 4 groups. During testing to failure, the majority (17/20) of specimens failed as the result of a long oblique fracture through the first screw hole in the distal segment.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the axial compressive strength and stiffness of a TPLO construct were not significantly affected by the addition of 1 or 2 ARPs or the presence of an intact fibula. These findings appear to support removal of ARPs during uncomplicated TPLOs, but further research is warranted to assess the effect of ARP removal on bone healing and complication rates.