Effect of cyclic pneumatic soft tissue compression on simulated distal radius fractures

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Apr:(433):183-8. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000149994.58542.c9.


We investigated the effect of pneumatic pressure applied to the proximal musculature of the sheep foreleg on load at the site of a transverse osteotomy of the distal radius. The distal radii of 10 fresh sheep foreleg specimens were osteotomized and a pressure sensor was inserted between the two bone fragments. An inflatable cuff, connected to a second pressure sensor, was positioned around the proximal forelimb musculature and the leg then was immobilized in a plaster cast. The inflatable cuff was inflated and deflated repeatedly to various pressures. Measurements of the cuff pressure and corresponding change in pressure at the osteotomy site were recorded. The results indicated that application of pneumatic pressure to the proximal foreleg musculature produced a corresponding increase in load at the osteotomy site. For the cuff pressures tested (109.8-238.4 mm Hg), there was a linear correlation with the load at the osteotomy site with a gradient of 12 mm Hg/N. It is conceivable, based on the results of this study, that a technique could be developed to provide dynamic loading to accelerate fracture healing in the upper limb of humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Compressive Strength
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • External Fixators*
  • Fracture Healing / physiology
  • Osteotomy
  • Pressure*
  • Radius Fractures / therapy*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sheep