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Title: Fixation stiffness of Dynafix unilateral external fixator in neutral and non-neutral configurations
Authors: Koo, TKK
Chao, EYS
Mak, AFT
Keywords: Bone fracture fixation
External fixator
Finite element analysis
Fixation stiffness
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: IOS Press
Source: Bio-medical materials and engineering, 2005, v. 15, no. 6, p. 433-444 How to cite?
Journal: Bio-medical materials and engineering 
Abstract: A primary function of external fixator is to stabilize the fracture site after fracture reduction. Conventional fracture reduction method would result in fixator configurations deviated from its neutral configuration. How the non-neutral configurations would affect the biomechanical performance of unilateral external fixators is still not well-documented. We developed a finite element model to predict the fixation stiffness of the Dynafix unilateral external fixator at arbitrary configurations under compression, torsion, three-point, and four-point bending. Experimental testing was done to validate the model using six Dynafix unilateral external fixators in neutral and particular non-neutral configurations. Effects of loading directions on bending stiffness were also studied. It appeared that the model succeeded in revealing the relative stiffness of the neutral and non-neutral configuration in all the loading conditions. Our results also demonstrated that bending stiffness could vary substantially for different loading directions and the principle loading directions could be very different for different fixator configurations. Therefore, a more logical way to compare the bending stiffness is to identify the principle loading directions of each fixator configuration and used their maximum and minimum bending stiffness as comparison criteria. Given that fixator configurations could substantially change the stiffness properties of the bone-fixator system, computer simulation with finite element modeling of this kind will provide useful clinical information on the rigidity of certain configurations in stabilizing the fracture site for bone healing.
ISSN: 0959-2989
EISSN: 1878-3619
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