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Lowenberg DW, DeBaun MR, Sox-Harris A, Behn A. Influence of fracture obliquity and interlocking nail screw configuration on interfragmentary motion in distal metaphyseal tibia fractures. European journal of orthopaedic surgery & traumatology : orthope´die traumatologie. 2020 Feb 1; 30(2):343-350.
Abstract: The indications for the use of intramedullary (IM) nails have been extended to include extra-articular distal metaphyseal tibia fractures. We hypothesize that interfragmentary motion during physiologic compressive loading of distal tibia fractures is influenced by fracture obliquity and can be modulated by interlocking screw configuration. Sawbone specimens were osteotomized with frontal plane obliquities ranging from 0° to 60° and then fixed by IM nailing with six interlocking screw configurations. Interfragmentary motion was evaluated during loading in axial compression to 1000 N. Comparisons of interfragmentary motions were made (1) between configurations for the various fracture obliquities and (2) between fracture obliquities for the various screw configurations using a mixed-effects regression model. As the degree of fracture obliquity increased, significantly more interfragmentary displacement was shown in configurations with two distal interlocking screws and one proximal screw set in dynamic mode. Fracture obliquity beyond 30° causes demonstrated instability in configurations with less than two distal locking screws and one proximal locking screw. Optimizing the available screw configurations can minimize fracture site motion and shear in distal tibial fractures with larger fracture obliquities.