3 years ago

A biomechanical comparison of Kirschner-wire fixation on fracture stability in Salter-Harris type I fractures of the proximal humeral physis in a porcine cadaveric model

A biomechanical comparison of Kirschner-wire fixation on fracture stability in Salter-Harris type I fractures of the proximal humeral physis in a porcine cadaveric model
Tian Wang, Jiawen Ma, Vedran Lovric, Kenneth A. Johnson, William R. Walsh
The physis is the weakest component of immature long bones, and physeal fractures constitute about 30% of fractures in growing dogs. Fractures of the proximal humeral physis typically have a Salter Harris type I or II configuration. These fractures require accurate reduction and adequate stabilization to allow for any potential continued longitudinal bone growth, in conjunction with physeal fracture healing. Conventional internal fixation of these fractures involves insertion of two parallel Kirschner wires, although other methods described include tension band wiring, Rush pinning, and lag screws. However these recommendations are based on anecdotal evidence, and information about the biomechanical stability of physeal fracture repair is sparse. The unique anatomical structure of the epiphyseal-metaphyseal complex makes the gripping of the epiphysis for ex vivo biomechanical testing of physeal fracture repair very challenging. The objective of our study was to biomechanically assess the optimal number (three, two or one) of implanted Kirschner wires in a porcine Salter Harris I proximal humeral physeal fracture model, using motion analysis tracking of peri-fragmental retro-reflective markers while constructs were subjected to a constant axial compression and a sinusoidal torque of +/− 2 Nm at 0.5 Hz for 250 cycles. There were significant differences between the three constructs (three, two or one Kirschner wire repair) for gross angular displacement (p < 0.001). The difference between three pins and two pins on toggle was not significant (p = 0.053), but both three-pin and two-pin fixation significantly reduced rotational toggle compared to one-pin fixation. Construct stiffness was not significantly different between any of the pin groups (p > 0.33). Motion analysis tracking using peri-fragmental markers in this porcine model of physeal fracture repair found that the stability at the fracture site of one-pin fixation was significantly less than two-pin and three-pin fixation. Whether there was increased stabilization of these fractures with three-pin fixation compared to two-pin fixation was not conclusive in this porcine model.
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