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Technical Brief

An Adjustable-Length Intramedullary Nail: Development and Mechanical Evaluation in Cervine Tibiae

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexander D. W. Throop

Mem. ASME
Clarkson University,
8 Clarkson Avenue, Box 5725,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: throopad@clarkson.edu

Alexander Martin Clark, Jr.

Sharon Hospital,
50 Hospital Hill Road,
Sharon, CT 06069
e-mail: drmartyclark@yahoo.com

Laurel Kuxhaus

Mem. ASME
Clarkson University,
8 Clarkson Avenue, Box 5725,
Potsdam, NY 13699
e-mail: lkuxhaus@clarkson.edu

Manuscript received June 25, 2014; final manuscript received September 13, 2014; published online April 24, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Rita M. Patterson.

J. Med. Devices 9(2), 024503 (Jun 01, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: MED-14-1195; doi: 10.1115/1.4030152 History: Received June 25, 2014; Revised September 13, 2014; Online April 24, 2015

Intramedullary nails are the gold standard of fracture fixation, yet problems can still arise due to their manufacture in discrete lengths. Patient outcomes are less favorable when implanted with an improper length nail, and the wide range of discrete length options can increase the size hospital inventory. Prototypes of adjustable-length intramedullary nails were developed and tested in axial compression, torsion, and four-point bending. These prototypes are comparable to conventional nails in axial and bending stiffness. The torsional stiffness of the prototypes is less than that of conventional nails, but may be sufficient for clinical use.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Picture of (a) prototype A with an enlargement to show the set screw locking mechanism and (b) prototype B with an enlargement to show the locking pin

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Fig. 2

An (a) M/L and (b) A/P X-ray of prototype A inserted into a cervine tibia specimen

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Fig. 3

Illustration of three testing modes; intact cervine tibiae are shown in the axial and torsional examples

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Fig. 4

Axial compression, torsion, and four-point bending stiffnesses of cervine tibiae, prototypes A and B, reported Synthes Expert nails, and values as reported from human tibiae [14,15,18-22]

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