Mechanical performance of standard and cannulated 4.0-mm cancellous bone screws

Authors

  • Greg A. Brown,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, U.S.A.
    • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Regions Hospital, 640 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2595, U.S.A.
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  • Tracey McCarthy,

    1. Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Hennepin County Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedic Research Foundation affiliated with the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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  • Craig A. Bourgeault,

    1. Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Hennepin County Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedic Research Foundation affiliated with the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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  • Dennis J. Callahan

    1. Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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Abstract

The mechanical performance of bone screws is determined by their pull-out strength (holding power), compressive force, stripping torque, yield bending moment, ultimate bending moment, and fatigue strength. These parameters are related to the parameters of the screw design, including major thread diameter, minor thread diameter, thread length, pitch, shaft diameter, cannulation diameter, and material properties. The goal of the study was to theoretically predict the static performance of five 4.0-mm, 45–46-mm-long, cancellous, partially threaded standard and cannulated bone screws and compare the predictions with experimental measurements. A secondary goal was to determine if cannulation of the bone screw diminished its mechanical performance. The predicted values for pull-out force, compressive force, and stripping torque were determined by the thread length, major thread diameter, and thread shape factor. The screws with the largest major thread diameter and longest thread length had the greatest pull-out force, compressive strength, and stripping torque. However, when correcting for the thread length, a higher thread shape factor compensated for a smaller major diameter. The coefficient of determination (r2) for the correlation between the predicted and measured pull-out force improved from 0.75 to 0.90 when the theoretical model included the thread shape factor. The yield and ultimate bending moments are a function of the section modulus and material properties of the screw. The Ace solid screw had the greatest section modulus and yield and ultimate bending moments. The experimental data support the theoretical models for predicting the mechanical performance of bone screws. The disign of the bone screws can be optimized on the basis of theoretical modeling. The strong correlation between the predicted and measured parameters allows comparison between bone screws without repeated experimental tests. Theoretical and experimental results show that cannulation of the bone screw did not inherently diminish its mechanical performance.

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