Tibial external fixation frames were constructed on aluminum tube simulating tibia bone. A 20-mm gap was left at the fracture site in order to measure the structural stiffness of the frame rather than the aluminum tube. The performance of the frames were experimentally evaluated and quantified using tests which simulated the loading conditions encountered in normal walking. These included axial compression, anteroposterior (AP) bending, lateral bending and torsional loading of the frame. The parameters studied were (a) number of fixation pins, (b) number of connecting rods and (c) location of clamps on the pins. Four constants were evaluated from these tests using various structural configurations of the frames; these resulted in four stiffness coefficients in compression, AP bending, lateral bending and torsion. Stiffnesses of various frames with different geometric configurations were compared by comparing their appropriate stiffness coefficients. Such comparison can set forth a quantitative guideline in selecting a suitable frame configuration for the type of injury and condition of fracture pattern. This type of quantitative analysis can also be useful in modifying the frame during the postoperative bone healing process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering