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An In Vitro Biomechanical Comparison of a Limited-Contact Dynamic Compression Plate Fixation with a Dynamic Compression Plate Fixation of Osteotomized Equine Third Metacarpal Bones

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Objectives

To compare the monotonic biomechanical properties and fatigue life of a broad, limited contact, dynamic compression plate (LC-DCP) fixation with a broad, dynamic compression plate (DCP) fixation to repair osteotomized equine 3rd metacarpal (MC3) bones. Study Design

In vitro biomechanical testing of paired cadaveric equine MC3 with a mid-diaphyseal osteotomy, stabilized by 1 of 2 methods for fracture fixation. Animal Population

Twelve pairs of adult equine cadaveric MC3 bones. Methods

Twelve pairs of equine MC3 were divided into 3 test groups (4 pairs each) for (1) 4-point bending single cycle to failure testing, (2) 4-point bending cyclic fatigue testing, and (3) torsional single cycle to failure testing. An LC-DCP (8-hole, 4.5 mm) was applied to the dorsal surface of 1 randomly selected bone from each pair. One DCP (8-hole, 4.5 mm broad) was applied dorsally to the contralateral bone from each pair. All plates and screws were applied using standard AO/ASIF techniques to MC3 bones that had mid-diaphyseal osteotomies. Mean test variable values for each method were compared using a paired t-test within each group. Significance was set at P<.05. Results

The mean 4-point bending yield load, yield bending moment, composite rigidity, failure load, and failure bending moment of LC-DCP fixation were significantly greater (P<.01) than those of broad DCP fixation. Mean cycles to failure for 4-point bending was significantly (P<.001) greater for broad DCP fixation compared with broad LC-DCP fixation. Mean yield load, mean composite rigidity, and mean failure load in torsion was significantly (P<.02) greater for broad LC-DCP fixation compared with broad DCP fixation. Conclusion

Broad LC-DCP offers increased stability in static overload testing, however, it offers significantly less stability in cyclic fatigue testing. Clinical Relevance

The clinical relevance of the cyclic fatigue data supports the conclusion that the broad DCP fixation is biomechanically superior to the broad LC-DCP fixation in osteotomized equine MC3 bones despite the results of the static overload testing.
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Keywords: 4-point bending; biomechanical testing; cyclic testing; equine metacarpal bone; limited-contact compression plate; torsion testing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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