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The new distractor was conceived as part of the PC-Fix instrumentation with the function of reducing and compressing the fracture before plating. Other distraction devices already exist, but the smaller devices (relative to the large and expensive traction table) tend to cause the bone segments to be rotated off the long axis due to moments created by soft tissue forces. It is thus necessary to hold the position of such devices manually against, what can be, very large forces. The new device eliminates such moments by centring the rotation axes on the long axis of the bone. The bone segments are thereby retained in longitudinal orientation without manual input. Once the bone has been distracted and reduced the device is locked so that the position of the bone is maintained during fixation. The current distractor has been designed for the forearm but it is anticipated that larger models will be constructed for the other long bones.
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© 1995 Published by Elsevier Inc.