The potential of bioresorbable plates and screws in distal radius fracture fixation

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Internal fixation of distal radius fractures allows early functional mobilization with a decreased risk of residual functional deficits. Plate fixation in distal radius fractures is associated with an increased risk of tendon irritation or ruptures due to the interactions between the relatively bulky implant and the adjacent tendons and tendon sheaths. Implants made of bioresorbable materials would make implant removal unnecessary. Two main questions have to be answered before bioresorbable implants can be used clinically in this indication. Question 1. Are implants made of existing bioresorbable materials able to transmit the required loads during fracture healing and what design is needed? Question 2. What is the response of the adjacent tissue during degradation? In order to begin providing answers to these questions we have undertaken the following activities: A new device based on the capacitive sensor technology of novel Gmbh, Munich, Germany, was developed in order to measure the amount of force transmitted across the radio-ulno-carpal joint in vivo under unloaded conditions. A study was performed with the aim of building a Finite Element Model (FEM) which could be utilized in future studies to optimize the design of a resorbable implant system in the treatment of distal radius fractures. A large animal model was established to investigate the in-vivo reactions of different tissue types during implant degradation.




Rikli, D. A., Curtis, R., Schilling, C., & Goldhahn, J. (2002). The potential of bioresorbable plates and screws in distal radius fracture fixation. Injury, 33(SUPPL. 2), 77–83.

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