Pullout Strength After Multiple Reinsertions in Radial Bone Fixation

Hand (N Y). 2020 May;15(3):393-398. doi: 10.1177/1558944718795510. Epub 2018 Sep 6.


Background: Due to bone cutting loss from self-tapping screws (STS), progressive destruction of bone can occur with each reinsertion during surgery. When considering the use of jigs that utilize multiple insertions such as those seen in ulnar and radial shortening osteotomy systems, or scenarios where a screw needs to be removed and reinserted due to some technical issue, this can be concerning, as multiple studies examining the effects of multiple reinsertions and the relationship between insertional torque and pullout strength have had mixed results. Methods: Insertional torque and pullout strength were experimentally measured following multiple reinsertions of STS for up to 5 total insertions for various densities and locations along radial sawbone shafts. Results: Torque and pullout strength were significantly greater in middle segments of the radial shaft. Our trials corroborate previous literature regarding a significant reduction in fixation between 1 and 2 insertions; beyond this, there was no significant difference between pullout strength across all segment locations as well as bone densities for 3 to 5 insertions. There was a moderate to high correlation of insertional torque to pullout strength noted across all bone densities and segments (Pearson r = 0.663, P < .001). Conclusion: While reinsertion of STS between 1 and 2 insertions has been shown to significantly differ in pullout strength, beyond this, there does not appear to be a significant difference in up to 5 insertions at any specific region of radial bone across a range of sawbone densities. Further insertions may be considered with caution.

Keywords: biomechanics; insertional torque; multiple insertions; pullout strength; reinsertion; self-tapping screws.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone Screws*
  • Bone and Bones
  • Humans
  • Torque