|Stress analysis of the distal locking screws for femoral interlocking nailing
|JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH
In femoral locked nailing, the distal locking screws are vulnerable to mechanical failure. Biomechanical studies have shown that the stress on these screws is substantially affected by the fit of the nail in the medullary canal. In this study, a "closed form" mathematical model based on elastic beam-column theory was developed to investigate how the nail-cortical contact, which was simulated by a linear elastic foundation, affected the stress on the distal locking screws. Providing data for the model was a construct of a fractured femur with an intramedullary locked nail loaded by an eccentric vertical load. The stress on the locking screw was analyzed as a function of the distance from the fracture to the locking screw in the distal fragment under two situations: with and without nail- cortical contact in the distal fragment. With nail-cortical contact, the screw stress decreased as the length of nail- cortical contact and the distance between the distal locking screw and the fracture site increased, but this stress contrarily increased when the nail reached the femoral region at which the screw length increased. The screw stress was much higher without nail-cortical contact than with contact and continued to increase as the nail was inserted further. The mathematical model developed here can be a convenient means of rapid stress evaluation and parametric analysis for locked femoral nailing. It may be used to improve the design of interlocking nails and surgical technique.
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