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Stability Of Femoral Neck Fracture Fixation: A Finite Element Analysis

Shabnam Samsami, Peter Augat, Gholamreza Rouhi

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Femoral neck fractures represent a relatively uncommon injury in the non-elderly population often resulting from high-energy trauma. Clinical outcome in these patients can be improved by optimizing surgical procedures and selecting appropriate fixation methods. The aim of this study was to develop a numerical fracture model to investigate the influence of critical mechanical factors on the stability of fixation methods for femoral neck fractures. The mechanical stability of fracture fixation was assessed through employing finite element models and simulating progressive consolidation of the fracture for a vertical femoral neck fracture (i.e. Pauwels type III in which the angle between the fracture line and the horizontal plane is greater than 70°). Mechanical performance was compared among three different fixation methods (cannulated screws, dynamic hip screw with de-rotational screw, and proximal femoral locking plate). Axial femoral head displacement varied from 2.3 mm for cannulated screws to 1.12 mm for proximal femoral locking plate, although dynamic hip screw with de-rotational screw indicated a value of 0.94 mm. Considering a consolidated fracture and full weight-bearing load case, average displacements of fracture fragments were obtained of about 1.5, 3 and 70 µm for dynamic hip screw with de-rotational screw, proximal femoral locking plate and cannulated screws methods, respectively. In terms of interfragmentary movements at the fracture site, outcomes of this study demonstrated that, in agreement with our previous experimental research, the dynamic hip screw with de-rotational screw implant is a more effective choice than cannulated screws and proximal femoral locking plate techniques for vertical femoral neck fractures in young patients. Thus, one may conclude that the use of dynamic hip screw with de-rotational screw, particularly during the early stages of bone healing, could provide suitable mechanical environments that facilitate direct bone formation and shorter healing times.