Evaluating Stiffness of Fibreglass and Thermoplastic Splint Materials and Inter-fragmentary Motion in a Canine Tibial Fracture ModelFunding The authors would like to acknowledge Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States, for the financial support for the project.
29 January 2017
17 January 2018
16 April 2018 (eFirst)
Objectives Various materials are used to construct splints for mid-diaphyseal tibial fracture stabilization. The objective of this study was to compare construct stiffness and inter-fragmentary bone motion when fibreglass (FG) or thermoplastic (TP) splints are applied to either the lateral or cranial aspect of the tibia in a mid-diaphyseal fracture model.
Methods A coaptation bandage was applied to eight cadaveric canine pelvic limbs, with a custom-formed splint made of either FG or TP material applied to either the lateral or cranial aspect of the osteotomized tibia. Four-point bending tests were performed to evaluate construct stiffness and inter-fragmentary motion in both frontal and sagittal planes.
Results For a given material, FG or TP, construct stiffness was not affected by splint location. Construct stiffness was significantly greater with cranial FG splints than with cranial TP splints (p < 0.05), but this difference was not significant when comparing splints applied laterally (p = 0.15). Inter-fragmentary motions in the sagittal and frontal planes were similar across splint types for cranial splints, but for lateral splints there was a 64% reduction in frontal plane motion when FG was used as the splint material (p = 0.03).
Clinical Significance FG produces a stiffer construct, but the difference is not reflected in a reduction in inter-fragmentary motion. For lateral splints, FG splints are associated with reduced inter-fragmentary motion as compared with TP and may therefore have slight superiority for this application.
Keywordsbiomechanics - fracture stabilization - long bone fractures - mechanical testing - motion analysis
All authors contributed to the conception of the study, study design, acquisition of data, and data analysis and interpretation. All of them drafted and revised and approved the submitted manuscript.
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