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The influence of the number of bars on the axial compressive strength of uniplanar external fixators in polyurethane tibia models

OBJECTIVE: This is an experimental study with the objective of analyses the increase of rigidity in synthetic tibia bones with external fixators, with single and double connecting rods and with stable and unstable fracture patterns. METHODS: The external fixators were used in the monoplanar, half pin configuration submitted to an axial compression load using the connecting bar in different patterns. Forty-eight similar models to the human tibia had been used. In all the models were left an interval of 0,5 cm between the fragments and were made cuts of 15º and 45º to simulate stable and unstable fracture patterns, respectively. The models had been divided in four groups in accordance with the cut (15º and 45º) and the number of metallic bars in assembly (1 and 2 bars). The study used the Instron® testing machine which the models were submitted to the axial load until the fragments that were separated by a gap made full contact. RESULTS: The instability forces in the assembly with a double bar had been sufficiently superior to the forces with only one bar. It was still observed that the group with unstable fracture pattern and with only one connecting rod had a lesser variability compared with the other groups and presented more homogeneous results, with a minor average. CONCLUSION: The assembly with a double longitudinal connecting rod in the studied models is more stable than the others to stand compression load.

External fixators; Tibia

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