Objective—To evaluate 2 plate designs for pancarpal arthrodesis and their effects on load transfer to the respective bones as well as to develop a computational model with directed input from the biomechanical testing of the 2 constructs.
Sample—Both forelimbs from the cadaver of an adult castrated male Golden Retriever.
Procedures—CT imaging was performed on the forelimb pair. Each forelimb was subsequently instrumented with a hybrid dynamic compression plate or a castless pancarpal arthrodesis plate. Biomechanical testing was performed. The forelimbs were statically loaded in the elastic range and then cyclically loaded to failure. Finite element (FE) modeling was used to compare the 2 plate designs with respect to bone and implant stress distribution and magnitude when loaded.
Results—Cyclic loading to failure elicited failure patterns similar to those observed clinically. The mean ± SD error between computational and experimental strain was < 15% ± 13% at the maximum loads applied during static elastic loading. The highest bone stresses were at the distal extent of the metacarpal bones at the level of the screw holes with both plates; however, the compression plate resulted in slightly greater stresses than did the arthrodesis plate. Both models also revealed an increase in bone stress at the proximal screw position in the radius. The highest plate stress was identified at the level of the radiocarpal bone, and an increased screw stress (junction of screw head with shaft) was identified at both the most proximal and distal ends of the plates.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The FE model successfully approximated the biomechanical characteristics of an ex vivo pancarpal plate construct for comparison of the effects of application of different plate designs.