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|Title:||Clinical implications of stiffness and strength changes in fracture healing|
|Citation:||Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1997; 79B(1):9-12|
|Publisher:||British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery|
|Mellick J. Chehade, Anthony P. Pohl, Mark J. Pearcy, Namal Nawana|
|Abstract:||In the assessment of fracture healing by monitoring stiffness with vibrational analysis or instrumented external fixators, it has been assumed that there is a workable correlation between stiffness and strength. We used four-point bending tests to study time-related changes in stiffness and strength in healing tibial fractures in sheep. We aimed to test the validity of the measurement of stiffness to assess fracture strength. At each duration of healing examined, we found marked variations in stiffness and strength. Stiffness was shown to be load-dependent: measurements at higher loads reflected ultimate strength more accurately. There was a biphasic relationship between stiffness and strength: at first there was a strong correlation regardless of loading conditions, but in the second phase, which included the period of ‘clinical healing’, stiffness and strength were not significantly correlated. We conclude that the monitoring of stiffness is useful primarily in assessing progress towards union but is inherently limited as an assessment of strength at the time of clinical union. Any interpretation of stiffness must take into account the load conditions.|
|Keywords:||Bone and Bones; Animals; Sheep; Tibial Fractures; Monitoring, Physiologic; Fracture Healing; Biomechanics; Vibration; Male|
|Rights:||© 1997 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery|
|Appears in Collections:||Orthopaedics and Trauma publications|
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