Background: Bone quality in hip fractures is poor and there is a need to not only correctly position metalwork within the femoral head, but also for implants to resist cut-out. New implant designs may help to reduce metalwork cut-out, leading to fewer failures of fixation. This study compared the cut-out strength of a Dynamic Hip Screw (DHS) to that of an X-Bolt® (X-Bolt Orthopaedics, Dublin, Ireland) implant in an osteoporotic Sawbones® (Sawbones, Vashon Island, WA) model.
Methods: An unstable fracture model (AO 31-A2) was created using low-density 5 pound per cubic foot (pcf) Sawbones®. The DHS and X-Bolts® were inserted into the Sawbones® femoral head at Tip-Apex Distances (TAD) of 10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 30mm and 40mm. A cyclic-loading Instron® machine (Instron Corp., Norwood, MA) pushed the bone at a compression rate of 5mm per minute at a 20-degree angle to the axis of the implant with an upper force limit of 4000N. Maximum force reached and load to failure, defined as movement of the implant by 5mm, were recorded. Four implants were used per group to give a total of 48 tests between the two groups.
Results: The X-Bolt® demonstrated a superior average maximum total load push-out force compared to the DHS group for all of the TAD configurations tested. The maximum force reached in the X-Bolt® group was significantly higher than that in the DHS group at a TAD of 10mm (X-Bolt® 3299.25N vs. DHS 2843.75N, P<0.029) and 30mm (X-Bolt® 2908.25N vs. DHS 2030N, P<0.029). The X-Bolt® also had a higher load to failure than the DHS group at all of the TAD values tested.
Conclusions: The X-Bolt® implant gave superior performance compared to the standard DHS, as reflected by a greater push-out force in an osteoporotic Sawbones® model.