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Fracture Healing After Stabilization With Intramedullary Xenograft Cortical Bone Pins: A Study in Pigeons

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To investigate the effectiveness of intramedullary xenograft cortical bone pins compared with stainless steel Kirschner wire for the repair of a standardized avian humeral fracture. Study Design

Prospective randomized study. Sample Population

Thirty mature pigeons (Columba livia). Methods

Birds were randomly assigned to 3 groups. Transverse mid-diaphyseal humeral fractures were created in 1 humerus in each bird. Fractures were stabilized with intramedullary ostrich or canine xenograft cortical bone pins or Kirschner wire. Radiographic, histological, and biomechanical assessments were used to compare fracture healing 6 weeks after fracture stabilization. The contralateral humerus of each bird was used as a control. Results

All fractures healed regardless of intramedullary pin type. There were no statistically significant biomechanical differences among groups or within groups. Xenograft cortical bone pins induced a mononuclear inflammatory reaction that did not impair bone healing. Bones stabilized with intramedullary cortical bone pins had more periosteal callus and inflammation at the fracture site than bones stabilized with stainless steel Kirschner wires. Conclusions

Intramedullary xenograft cortical bone pins, derived from mammalian or avian sources, appear to represent an alternative for the repair of avian humeral fractures. Clinical Relevance

Intramedullary xenograft cortical bone pins are biodegradable and may reduce the need for additional surgery to remove implants after fracture healing.

© Copyright 2000 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Clinical Sciences, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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