Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/6725
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Type: Journal article
Title: Clinical implications of stiffness and strength changes in fracture healing
Author: Chehade, M.
Pohl, A.
Pearcy, M.
Nawana, N.
Citation: Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1997; 79B(1):9-12
Publisher: British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 2049-4394
2049-4408
Statement of
Responsibility: 
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
RMID: 0030005839
DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.79B1.6324
Published version: http://www.bjj.boneandjoint.org.uk/content/79-B/1/9
Appears in Collections:Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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