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PLOS ONE  2013 

Biomechanical Comparison of Different Stabilization Constructs for Unstable Posterior Wall Fractures of Acetabulum. A Cadaveric Study

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082993

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Abstract:

Purpose Operative treatment of unstable posterior wall fractures of acetabulum has been widely recommended. This laboratory study was undertaken to evaluate static fixation strength of three common fixation constructs: interfragmentary screws alone, in combination with conventional reconstruction plate, or locking reconstruction plate. Methods Six formalin-preserved cadaveric pelvises were used for this investigation. A posterior wall fracture was created along an arc of 40–90 degree about the acetabular rim. Three groups of different fixation constructs (two interfragmentary screws alone; two interfragmentary screws and a conventional reconstruction plate; two interfragmentary screws and a locking reconstruction) were compared. Pelvises were axial loaded with six cycles of 1500 N. Dislocation of superior and inferior fracture site was analysed with a multidirectional ultrasonic measuring system. Results: No statistically significant difference was found at each of the superior and inferior fracture sites between the three types of fixation. In each group, the vector dislocation at superior fracture site was significantly larger than inferior one. Conclusions All those three described fixation constructs can provide sufficient stability for posterior acetabular fractures and allow early mobilization under experimental conditions. Higher posterior acetabular fracture line, transecting the weight-bearing surface, may indicate a substantial increase in instability, and need more stable pattern of fixation.

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