Biomechanical Comparison of 2 Different Locking Plate Fixation Methods in Vancouver B1 Periprosthetic Femur Fractures

Joshua D. Pletka, Daniel Marsland, Stephen M. Belkoff, Simon C. Mears, Stephen L. Kates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Locking plates are commonly used to treat fractures around a well-fixed femoral component. The optimal construct should provide sufficient fixation while minimizing soft-tissue dissection. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether plate length, working length, or bone mineral density affects survival of locking plate fixation for Vancouver type B1 periprosthetic hip fractures. A transverse osteotomy was created just distal to cemented femoral prostheses in 9 pairs of cadaveric femurs. Fractures were stabilized with long (20-hole) or short (12-hole) locking plates that were secured proximally with cables and screws and distally with screws only. Specimens were then cycled 10 000 times at 2500 N of axial force and 15 Nm of torque to simulate full weightbearing. A motion capture system was used to record fracture displacement during cycling. Failure occurred in 5 long and 3 short plates, with no significant differences found in the number of cycles to failure. For the specimens that survived, there were no significant differences found between long and short plates for displacement or rotation observed at the fracture site. A shorter working length was not associated with increased failure rate. Lower bone mineral density was significantly associated with failure (P = .02). We concluded that long locked plates do not appear to offer a biomechanical advantage over short locking plates in terms of fixation survival, and that bone mineral density was a better predictor of failure than was the fixation construct type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • femur
  • fixation
  • locking plate
  • periprosthetic fracture
  • working length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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