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Original Paper

In vivo biomechanical comparison of hammering vs drilling of Kirschner wires; a pilot study in rabbits

B. B. G. M. FranssenContact Information, A. H. Schuurman1, R. Feitz1, L. P. van Minnen1 and M. Kon1

(1)  Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Room number G.04.122, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received: 8 March 2007  Accepted: 18 April 2007  Published online: 22 May 2007

Abstract  Heat generation due to drilling Kirschner wires (K-wires) into bone can lead to serious complications. Hammering K-wires could be an alternative insertion method because it generates less heat and results in better fixation and a shorter insertion time. There is, however, no in vivo information about insertion time and biomechanics of hammered K-wires. Insertion time was measured when drilling or hammering K-wires into femurs and tibias of 16 rabbits. Four K-wires inserted in one hind limb were used to measure extraction and torque forces directly after insertion (T = 0) and four K-wires inserted in the contralateral hind limb were used for the same measurements 4 weeks after insertion (T = 4). The insertion time for hammering was significantly shorter compared to drilling. Extraction and torque properties measured at T = 0 and T = 4 were equal for both techniques. Hammering, however, resulted in more cracks. Based on these results neither of these methods can be identified as a superior technique to insert K-wires in fragile bones.

Keywords  Animal - Biomechanics - K-wire - Pneumatic hammer

Contact Information B. B. G. M. Franssen
Email: bbgmfranssen@gmail.com


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