A comparative biomechanical analysis of resorbable rigid fixation versus titanium rigid fixation of metacarpal fractures

Christopher D. Prevel, Barry L. Eppley, Jing Ge, Mark M. Winkler, Thomas R. Katona, Keith D'Alessio, David Sarver

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Linear (two-dimensional) and three-dimensional (3D) plating systems (Poly-Medics) composed of the resorbable copolymer of polyglycolic acid (PGA) and poly-I-lactic acid (PLLA) (Lactosorb) were studied in vitro. The plates were applied to osteotomized fresh frozen human cadaveric metacarpal bones that were then tested for torsional rigidity and three-point bending strength and rigidity. The results were compared to those from another study of two low-profile titanium plating systems (Leibinger and Synthes). Analysis of variance revealed that the linear-flat Lactosorb plate and screws had apex dorsal rigidity and force-to-displacement measurements equal to all but two of the titanium plates (3D). The 3D-flat Lactosorb plata had the highest torsional rigidity of the resorbable system, but it was only moderately rigid compared to the titanium plating systems. This in vitro biomechanical study of the copolymer PGA-PLLA plating system indicates that, in clinical applications, it may be better suited for metacarpal fractures rather then proximal phalangeal fractures due to the lower demands of torsional leading compared to apex bending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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