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Original Paper

Fixation of Kirschner wires: a comparison between hammering and drilling k-wires into ribs of pigs

E. B. Wassenaar1, B. B. G. M. FranssenContact Information, D. B. van Egmond1 and M. Kon1

(1)  Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received: 30 January 2006  Accepted: 25 June 2006  Published online: 19 September 2006

Abstract  Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation is a well-accepted method for stabilization of fractures. However, the rotary drill traditionally used for insertion leads to a considerable amount of complications (33%). Another method for insertion was tested which might possibly reduce these complications—hammering. Forty-four K-wires were inserted into the ribs of pigs using a drilling and a hammering technique. Peak extraction force, peak torque, and insertion time were measured. The mean peak extraction forces for drilling and hammering were 57.4 and 129.0 N, respectively. The mean peak torque for drilling and hammering were 2.4 and 5.7e−02 Nm, respectively. Using the drilling technique, it took 73.6 s to insert the K-wire compared with 18.4 s for hammering. At the exit site, there were splinters of bone in 18 of the 22 hammered K-wires and in 2 of the 22 drilled K-wires. This study showed that hammering K-wires into ribs of pigs gives better initial fixation and results in a shorter insertion time.

Keywords  Drilling - Fixation - Hammering - Kirschner wire

D.B. van Egmond is deceased.

Contact Information B. B. G. M. Franssen
Email: bbgmfranssen@gmail.com
Phone: +31-30-2508125
Fax: +31-30-2516097

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Referenced by
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  1. Franssen, B. B. G. M. (2007) In vivo biomechanical comparison of hammering vs drilling of Kirschner wires; a pilot study in rabbits. European Journal of Plastic Surgery
    [CrossRef]
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