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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-77

Intramedullary limb lengthening: Comparative mechanical testing of different devices

1 Department of Trauma and General Surgery, Bg University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
2 Department of Surgical Sciences, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Nader Maai
Department of Trauma and General Surgery, Bg University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jllr.jllr_42_21

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Background: Intramedullary limb lengthening has become more popular in the past two decades. This study aimed to investigate the mechanical properties of the various intramedullary lengthening devices currently available to orthopedic surgeons. Materials and Methods: A load cell connected to an electromechanical tensile testing machine was used to apply a bending force to nine intramedullary lengthening nails: Albizzia Ø 11 mm, intramedullary skeletal kinetic distractor Ø 10.7 mm, Precice Ø 10.7 mm, G-Nail Ø 13 mm, and Betzbone Ø 9 mm to Ø 13 mm. The force needed to deform each nail by 0.01 mm, 0.05 mm, 1 mm, and 3 mm was measured and compared. Results: The nail with the smallest diameter (Betzbone Ø 9 mm) needed the least force to deform. The nails with the biggest diameter (G-Nail Ø 13 mm and Betzbone Ø 13 mm) needed the most force to deform. Comparing similar-sized implants, nails manufactured from surgical steel or cobalt-chrome were more resistant to plastic deformation than titanium nails. Conclusion: Intramedullary lengthening device's ability to resist bending deformation depends on the diameter and material of the nail. Surgical steel and cobalt-chrome alloy nails showed higher resistant to plastic deformation when compared to titanium nails.

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