Increased torsional stability by a novel femoral neck locking plate. The role of plate design and pin configuration in a synthetic bone block model

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2018 Jun;55:28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2018.03.024. Epub 2018 Mar 27.


Background: In undisplaced femoral neck fractures, internal fixation remains the main treatment, with mechanical failure as a frequent complication. As torsional stable fixation promotes femoral neck fracture healing, the Hansson Pinloc® System with a plate interlocking pins, was developed from the original hook pins. Since its effect on torsional stability is undocumented, the novel implant was compared with the original configurations.

Methods: Forty-two proximal femur models custom made of two blocks of polyurethane foam were tested. The medial block simulated the cancellous head, while the lateral was laminated with a glass fiber filled epoxy sheet simulating trochanteric cortical bone. Two hollow metal cylinders with a circumferential ball bearing in between mimicked the neck, with a perpendicular fracture in the middle. Fractures were fixated by two or three independent pins or by five configurations involving the interlocking plate (two pins with an optional peg in a small plate, or three pins in a small, medium or large plate). Six torsional tests were performed on each configuration to calculate torsional stiffness, torque at failure and failure energy.

Findings: The novel configurations improved parameters up to an average of 12.0 (stiffness), 19.3 (torque) and 19.9 (energy) times higher than the original two pins (P < 0.001). The plate, its size and its triangular configuration improved all parameters (P = 0.03), the plate being most effective, also preventing permanent failure (P < 0.001).

Interpretation: The novel plate design with its pin configuration enhanced torsional stability. To reveal clinical relevance a clinical study is planned.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Composite bone; Femoral neck fracture; Internal fixation; Locking plate; Torsional testing.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Nails*
  • Bone Plates*
  • Cancellous Bone / surgery
  • Cortical Bone / surgery
  • Femoral Neck Fractures / surgery*
  • Femur Neck / surgery*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / instrumentation*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Biological
  • Prosthesis Design*
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Rotation
  • Torque