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Open Access Comparison of Two Systems for Tibial External Fixation in Rabbits

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Background and Purpose: Use of rabbits in orthopedic investigations is common. In this study, focus is on factors that influence bone healing and on distraction osteogenesis. Biomechanical characteristics of two external fixator systems (Orthofix device and Hoffmann device) for long bones were tested.

Methods: Twelve freshly dissected tibiae were obtained from six skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits, and four-point bending stiffness in two planes (90 and 180° to the fixator pins) and torsional stiffness and strength of the bone-fixator complex were evaluated by use of a material testing machine.

Results: In four-point bending, Orthofix device had higher stiffness and strength, compared with Hoffmann device. When the load was applied 180° to the pins, both devices had higher stiffness, compared with that at 90 . In torsional testing, Orthofix device had significantly higher stiffness and strength.

Conclusions: Significant differences in structural properties between the two systems were evident. Loading direction and gap conditions were important factors in determining properties of the systems. Therefore, type of external fixation system and fixation technique should be considered when designing experiments, using the rabbit long bone model.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 2: Orthopaedic Surgery Service, Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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