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- Author or Editor: Ben M. Hillberry x
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Objective—To evaluate in vitro holding power and associated microstructural and thermal damage from placement of positive-profile transfixation pins in the diaphysis and metaphysis of the equine third metacarpal bone.
Sample Population—Third metacarpal bones from 30 pairs of adult equine cadavers.
Procedure—Centrally threaded positive-profile transfixation pins were placed in the diaphysis of 1 metacarpal bone and the metaphysis of the opposite metacarpal bone of 15 pairs of bones. Tensile force at failure for axial extraction was measured with a materials testing system. An additional 15 pairs of metacarpal bones were tested similarly following cyclic loading. Microstructural damage was evaluated via scanning electron microscopy in another 6 pairs of metacarpal bones, 2 pairs in each of the following 3 groups: metacarpal bones with tapped holes and without transfixation pin placement, metacarpal bones following transfixation pin placement, and metacarpal bones following transfixation pin placement and cyclic loading. Temperature of the hardware was measured with a surface thermocouple in 12 additional metacarpal bones warmed to 38 C.
Results—The diaphysis provided significantly greater resistance to axial extraction than the metaphysis. There were no significant temperature differences between diaphyseal and metaphyseal placement. Microstructural damage was limited to occasional microfractures seen only in cortical bone of diaphyseal and metaphyseal locations. Microfractures originated during drilling and tapping but did not worsen following transfixation pin placement or cyclic loading.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Centrally threaded, positive-profile transfixation pins have greater resistance to axial extraction in the diaphysis than in the metaphysis of equine third metacarpal bone in vitro. This information may be used to create more stable external skeletal fixation in horses with fractures. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1304–1308)
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)