Biomechanical Comparison of Cortical Radial Graft versus Ulnar Transposition Graft Limb-Sparing Techniques for the Distal Radial Site in Dogs
To compare the biomechanical properties of radial graft (RG) versus ulnar transposition graft (UTG) limb-sparing techniques in the dog. Study design
Cadaveric study. Animals
Six pairs of normal canine thoracic limbs. Methods
In each pair of limbs, 1 limb was subjected to the RG technique and the other to the UTG technique. Limbs were tested in axial loading until failure. Modes of failure and biomechanical properties were compared between the 2 groups. Percent coverage of the metacarpal bone by the plate was retrospectively compared between the limbs that failed by fracture of the metacarpal bones and those that did not. Results
RG limbs had significantly greater stiffness, yield load, maximum load, maximum energy, and post-yield energy. All UTG limbs failed by cranial bending of the plate. Half of the RG limbs failed by caudal bending of the plate and half by fracture of the third metacarpal bone at the distal end of the plate. Limbs with <80% plate coverage of the metacarpal bone were significantly more likely to fail by metacarpal fracture. Conclusions
The RG technique was biomechanically superior to the UTG technique under the conditions studied. At least 80% plate coverage of the metacarpal bone should be achieved. Clinical Relevance
Exercise restriction and coaptation bandages should be considered for patients undergoing the UTG technique to minimize potential biomechanical complications.