International Journal of Aerospace and Lightweight Structures (IJALS)

Volume 3 Number 2 (2013)

International Journal of Aerospace and Lightweight Structures

doi: 10.3850/S2010428613000597

The Effects of Flexible Fixation on Early Stage Bone Fracture Healing

Lihai Zhang1,a, Saeed Miramini1,b, Priyan Mendis1,c, Martin Richardson2,d, Marinis Pirpiris2,e and Kunle Oloyede3
1Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
2The Epworth Hospital, Richmond, Victoria 3012, Australia.
3Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


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).

Back to TOC