International Journal of Aerospace and Lightweight Structures (IJALS)Volume 3 Number 2 (2013)
The Effects of Flexible Fixation on Early Stage Bone Fracture Healing
The mechanical microenvironment at a fracture site could potentially influence the outcomes of bone fracture healing. It is known that, should the fixation construct be too stiff, or the gap between the fracture ends be too large, bones are less likely to heal. Flexible fixation or so-called “biological fixation” has been shown to encourage the formation of fracture callus, and therefore result in better healing outcomes. However, till date the nature of the relationship between the degree of mechanical stability provided by a flexible fixation and optimal healing fracture healing outcomes has not been fully understood. This paper presents a computational model that can predict healing out- comes from early stage healing data under various fixation configurations. The results of the simulations demonstrate that the change of mechanical microenvironment of fracture site resulting from the different fixation configurations is of importance for the healing outcomes.
Keywords: Bone fracture healing, Computational modeling, Interfragmentary movements (IFM).