Objective— To compare the axial compression stiffness of osteotomized canine tibiae stabilized with Slocum, Securos, or Synthes plates after a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) procedure.

Study Design— In vitro, paired comparison of cadaveric tibial constructs subjected to mechanical testing under an axial load.

Sample Population— Canine tibiae (n=16 pairs) from skeletally mature male and female dogs of various breeds (18–55 kg).

Methods— Tibial pairs (n=16) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 study cohorts (n=8 pairs/cohort): cohort 1, tibial osteotomy stabilization with a Slocum or a Securos plate, or cohort 2, tibial osteotomy stabilization with a Slocum or a Synthes plate. One tibia from each pair was stabilized with 1 of each plate design assigned to the cohort after TPLO. A 3.2 mm osteotomy gap was maintained during plate application in all constructs. Load and axial displacement were recorded while constructs were loaded to 2000 N in axial compression. Failure loads were not reported because no distinct yield point or failure point was evident within the load range for many specimens. Failure modes were recorded for each construct, and photographs of typical failures were obtained. Stiffness (N/mm) was calculated from load–displacement curves. Paired comparisons of mean stiffness were performed within study groups using a paired t-test. Significance was set at P<.05.

Results— The mean construct stiffnesses for the Slocum (383±183 N/mm) and Securos (258±64.1 N/mm) constructs were not significantly different (P=.164; power=0.566). The mean construct stiffness for the Synthes constructs (486±91.0 N/mm) was significantly greater than that of the Slocum constructs (400±117 N/mm); P=.0468. Modes of failure for the Slocum (16/16) and Securos (8/8) constructs included plastic deformation of the implant with valgus deformity combined with fibular luxation (2/16 Slocum; 1/8 Securos) or fibular fracture (2/16 Slocum; 4/8 Securos). Most Synthes constructs underwent elastic deformation (7/8). One Synthes construct fractured in the saggital plane through the tibial plateau depression at the point of load application.

Conclusions— The Slocum and Securos plate/tibia construct have similar stiffness, whereas the Synthes/tibia constructs are significantly stiffer than the Slocum/tibia constructs. Modes of fixation failure observed in this model were consistent with TPLO fixation failures observed clinically.

Clinical relevance— Construct stiffness in axial load varies with implant type. Implants that confer higher stiffness to the construct may result in greater fixation stability in tibial metaphyseal osteotomies.