Biomechanical comparison of pin and nitinol bone staple fixation to pin and tension band wire fixation for the stabilization of canine olecranon osteotomies

Lai A, Christou C, Bailey C, Tan CJ, Culvenor J, Wang T, Walsh WR. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2017 Sep 12; 30 (5) :324-330.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the initial biomechanical properties of olecranon osteotomies stabilized with intramedullary pins and a Nitinol bone staple to osteotomies stabilized with pin and tension band wire fixation.

STUDY DESIGN: Ex vivo mechanical evaluation on cadaveric bones.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ten pairs of cadaveric forelimbs from skeletally mature Greyhounds with an olecranon osteotomy stabilized with either a pin and Nitinol bone staple or a pin and tension band wire. A single load to failure was applied to each specimen through the triceps tendon. Biomechanical properties were compared based on stiffness, yield load, and maximum load to failure and load at 2 mm of axial displacement.

RESULTS: Specimens stabilized with the bone staple were biomechanically superior in all the variables tested. There was significantly greater stiffness (118.0 ± 25.9 N/mm versus 70.1 ± 40.4 N/mm; p = 0.005), yield load (319.0 ± 99.8 N versus 238.0 ± 42.5 N; p = 0.03), maximum load sustained (385.0 ± 99.2 N versus 287.0 ± 37.4 N; p = 0.009), and load at 2 mm of axial displacement (218.0 ± 51.5 N versus 138.0 ± 48.7 N; p = 0.002) in specimens stabilized with pins and a Nitinol bone staple than specimens stabilized with pin and tension band wire fixation.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The pin and Nitinol bone staple construct provides a biomechanically superior alternative to pin and tension band wire fixation for stabilization of olecranon osteotomies, and its use warrants further clinical investigation.

Small animal: