Effect of screw position on bone tissue differentiation within a fixed femoral fracture


Plate and screw constructs are routinely used in the treatment of long bone fractures. Despite considerable advancements in technology and techniques, there can still be complications in the healing of long bone fractures. Non-unions, delayed unions, and hardware failures are common complications observed in clinical practice following open reduction and internal fixation of fractures [1]. Potential causes of these adverse clinical effects may be disruptive to the periosteal and endosteal blood supply, stress shielding effects, and inadequate mechanical stability. The goal of the present study was to explore the effect of screw position on the fracture healing and formation of new bone tissue with mechanoregulatory algorithms in a computational model. An idealized poroelastic 3D finite element (FE) model of a femur with a 5 mm fracture gap, including a plate-screw construct was developed. Nineteen different plate-screw combinations, created by varying the number and position of screws within the plate, were created to identify a construct with the most favourable attributes for fracture healing. The first phase of the study evaluated constructs through mechanical stress analyses to identify those constructs with high loadsupport capability. The second phase of the study evaluated healing and bone formation with a biphasic mechanoregulatory algorithm to simulate tissue differentiation for fixation within selected constructs. The results of our analysis demonstrated a 4-screw symmetrical construct with the largest distance between screws to provide the most favourable balance of stability and optimized conditions to promote fracture healing.


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Nasr, S. , Hunt, S. and Duncan, N. (2013) Effect of screw position on bone tissue differentiation within a fixed femoral fracture. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 6, 71-83. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2013.612A009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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