External fixators for pelvic fractures - Comparison of the stiffness of current systems

Kees J. Ponsen, Gilbert A. Hoek van Dijke, Pieter Joosse, Chris J. Snijders

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We evaluated the stiffness of external fixation (EF) systems with a reproducible, standardized human pelvic replica of aluminum and perspex in which a type C pelvic ring injury was created. 12 EF systems were analyzed in 2 situations that necessarily occur during a walking cycle. Endpoints were defined as 15 mm of dislocation or tolerance of the maximum load in each situation. In the no weightbearing situation, all except 2 fixators failed; in the weightbearing situation, all fixators failed. Single bar systems performed better than frame configurations. Stability provided by any external fixator is low, and in the case of a type C pelvic ring injury, it is insufficient for patient mobilization and weightbearing. Single bar systems provide more stability than frames
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
JournalActa Orthopaedica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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