Locking versus nonlocking construct in an osteoporotic, segmental fibula defect model

Eddie Y. Lo, Susan S. Tseng, Blaine A. Christiansen, Mark A. Le, Brady J. Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Early studies on the treatment of osteoporotic distal fibular fractures suggest that poor bone quality can compromise fixation and, therefore, clinical outcome. Multiple prior biomechanical studies evaluated length-stable fracture models with destructive load-tofailure protocols, which may not represent a clinically relevant failure mode. The current authors compared a lateral locked construct with 2 distinct nonlocked constructs in an osteoporotic, segmental fibula defect model. Eighteen adult cadaveric ankles were randomized to a one-third tubular plate with nonlocking screws, a precontoured fibular plate with nonlocking screws, or the same precontoured plate with locking screws. Each was nondestructively loaded with an external rotation of 2.5 Nm for 10,000 cycles. The primary outcome was the change in construct stiffness. Secondary outcomes included maximal rotational displacement and change in insertion torques. Average increase in stiffness of the one-third tubular plate was 0.35 Nm/degree (P<.001), which was significantly greater than that in the nonlocking and locking precontoured plates (0.15 and 0.17 Nm/degree, respectively; P5.69). All 3 constructs externally rotated to 11.7°±4.6°, 8.6°±3.6°, and 10.9°±4. 7°, respectively (P=.50). Average loss of insertion torque in the 4 proximal positions was 32.7%±19%, 41.3%±20.2%, 57.8%±19%, and 64.9%±29.2% (P>.05). Average loss in the 4 distal positions for nonlocking constructs (71.6%±21%, 70.4%±26.4%, 93.1%±11%, and 83.3%±35.4%) was significantly different from that for the locking construct (15%±21.4%, 11.7%±24%, 9.2%±9.2%, and 20.8%±23.3%) (P<.05). No evidence in the current study supports the use of a locking plate for osteoporotic specimens. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1262-e1268
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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