Research Article| Volume 41, ISSUE 4, P405-410, April 2010

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Different stabilisation techniques for typical acetabular fractures in the elderly—A biomechanical assessment



      The tremendous increase of acetabular fractures in the elderly provides new challenges for their surgical treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical properties of conventional and newly developed implants for the stabilisation of an anterior column combined with posterior hemitransverse fracture (ACPHTF), which represents the typical acetabular fracture in the elderly.


      Using a single-leg stance model we analysed four different implant systems for the stabilisation of ACPHTFs in synthetic and cadaveric pelvises. Applying an increasing axial load, fracture dislocation was analysed with a new multidirectional ultrasonic measuring system. Results of the different implant systems were compared by Scheffé post hoc test and one-way ANOVA.


      In synthetic pelvises, the standard reconstruction plate fixed by 3 periarticular long screws and a new titanium fixator with multidirectional interlocking screws were associated with significantly less dislocation of the fractured quadrilateral plate of the acetabulum when compared to a standard reconstruction plate fixed by only one periarticular long screw and a locking reconstruction plate. No significant differences between the different osteosynthesis techniques could be observed in cadaver pelvises, probably due to a heterogeneous bone quality.


      We conclude that the plate fixation by positioning of periarticular long screws as well as the multidirectional positioning of interlocking screws account for the most sufficient fracture stabilisation of ACPHTFs under experimental conditions.


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