External fixation has proven a versatile method for the alignment of
diaphyseal tibial fractures. Percutaneous transosseus pins attached to an
external framework of bars provide the option of modifying the biomechanical
properties throughout treatment. Changes to axial stiffness, one such
biomechanical characteristic, has previously been shown to affect fracture
healing. This study aims to investigate how increased inter-pin distance in
unilateral, uniplanar constructs affects axial rigidity in an experimental
model of diaphyseal tibial fractures.
Four external fixation construct configurations with two different
inter-pin distances were constructed using a unilateral, uniplanar
configuration. A simulated transverse tibial fracture was then created. Axial
stiffness was tested and recorded using a twin-column compression system and
data acquisition software. Kruskal-Wallis
testing was used to identify significant differences between the constructs
both in the group, and in pairs.
of all four constructs demonstrated a significant difference (p