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Prospects of implant with locking plate in fixation of subtrochanteric fracture: experimental demonstration of its potential benefits on synthetic femur model with supportive hierarchical nonlinear hyperelastic finite element analysis

DOI: 10.1186/1475-925x-11-23

Keywords: Locking plate, Angle blade plate, Dynamic condylar screw plate, Subtrochanteric fracture, Biomechanics, Finite element analysis, Hierarchical finite element modelling

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Abstract:

Nine standard composite femurs were acquired, divided into three groups and fixed with LP (n?=?3), ABP (n?=?3) and DCSP (n?=?3). The fracture was modeled by a 20?mm gap created at the subtrochanteric region to experimentally study the biomechanical response of each implant under both static and dynamic axial loading paradigms. To confirm the experimental findings and to understand the critical interactions at the boundaries, the synthetic femur/implant systems were numerically analyzed by constructing hierarchical finite element models with nonlinear hyperelastic properties. The predictions from the analyses were then compared against the experimental measurements to demonstrate the validity of each numeric model, and to characterize the internal load distribution in the femur and load bearing properties of each implant.The average measurements indicated that the constructs with ABP, DCPS and LP respectively had overall stiffness values of 70.9, 110.2 and 131.4?N/mm, and exhibited reversible deformations of 12.4, 4.9 and 4.1?mm when the applied dynamic load was 400?N and plastic deformations of 11.3, 2.4 and 1.4?mm when the load was 1000?N. The corresponding peak cyclic loads to failure were 1100, 1167 and 1600?N. The errors between the displacements measured experimentally or predicted by the nonlinear hierarchical hyperelastic model were less than 18?%. In the implanted femur heads, the principal stresses were spatially heterogeneous for ABP and DCSP but more homogenous for LP, meaning LP had lower stress concentrations.When fixed with the LP implant, the synthetic femur model of the subtrochancteric fracture consistently exceeds in the key biomechanical measures of stability and durability. These capabilities suggest increased resistance to fatigue and failure, which are highly desirable features expected of functional implants and hence make the LP implant potentially a viable alternative to the conventional ABP or DCSP in the treatment of subtrochancteric femur

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