To compare mechanical properties (stiffness, yield load, failure load, and deformation at failure) of 2 pearl-type locking plate system (PLS) constructs (PLS 1 and PLS 2) in a simulated fracture gap model and to compare screw push-out forces of the 2 PLSs with and without plate contouring.
40 PLS constructs.
Mechanical properties of uncontoured PLS 1 (n = 8) and PLS 2 (8) constructs were evaluated in synthetic bone-plate models under axial compression. Screw push-out forces were evaluated in 6 uncontoured and 6 contoured PLSs of each type. Variables of interest were compared between PLS groups and between contoured and uncontoured plates by statistical methods.
Yield and failure loads were higher in the PLS 1 group than in the PLS 2 group, but stiffness did not differ significantly between groups. All constructs failed by plate bending, with greater deformation in the PLS 2 group. Push-out force to screw-plate uncoupling was higher in the PLS 2 group than in the PLS 1 group for uncontoured and contoured plates. Locking mechanism failure of PLS 1 specimens was through screw-thread stripping. The PLS 2 specimens failed by node deformation followed by screwhead stripping.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Distinct mechanical differences were identified between the 2 PLSs. The clinical relevance of these differences is unknown. Further research including cyclic fatigue testing is needed to reveal more clinically pertinent information.