Iowa Orthopedic Journal
Traditional interlocked intramedullary (IM) nails have recently been modified to provide enhanced angular stability. These so-called ‘angle-stable’ IM nails are designed to eliminate construct toggle and also provide increased axial, bending, and torsional stiffness. While this added stability is needed for small fracture gaps to heal, angle-stable nails may be too stiff for large fracture gaps to unite. Even though relative stability is recommended for large fracture gaps, recent in vivo data indicates that traditional nails may allow for too much motion for healing to occur. The current study evaluated a modified technique for implanting an angle-stable nail which allows for an intermediate amount of stability. The compliance of the nail construct was adjusted by over-drilling the near cortex interlocking hole. This led to increased construct motion in torsion, but less so in axial compression and bending. This modification creates stability which is partway between angle-stable and traditional IM nail designs. These findings were unchanged after 50,000 fatigue loading cycles. By carefully selecting the magnitude of over-drilling, the compliance of the construct can easily be modified as it is being implanted. This design modification may lead to more reliable fracture union since the surgeon can tailor the nail compliance to the injury and bone quality.
© 2014 The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal
Atkinson, Patrick; Flanagan, B. P.; LeCronier, D.; Kubacki, M. R.; and Telehowski, P., "A Method to Modify Angle-Stable Intramedullary Nail Construct Compliance" (2014). Mechanical Engineering Publications. 56.