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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 1/2018

Finite element analysis of intramedullary nailing and double locking plate for treating extra-articular proximal tibial fractures

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research > Ausgabe 1/2018
Fancheng Chen, Xiaowei Huang, Yingsun Ya, Fenfen Ma, Zhi Qian, Jifei Shi, Shuolei Guo, Baoqing Yu



Proximal tibia fractures are one of the most familiar fractures. Surgical approaches are usually needed for anatomical reduction. However, no single treatment method has been widely established as the standard care. Our present study aims to compare the stress and stability of intramedullary nails (IMN) fixation and double locking plate (DLP) fixation in the treatment of extra-articular proximal tibial fractures.


A three-dimensional (3D) finite element model of the extra-articular proximal tibial fracture, whose 2-cm bone gap began 7 cm from the tibial plateau articular surface, was created fixed by different fixation implants. The axial compressive load on an adult knee during single-limb stance was imitated by an axial force of 2500 N with a distribution of 60% to the medial compartment, while the distal end was fixed effectively. The equivalent von Mises stress and displacement of the model was used as the output measures for analysis.


The maximal equivalent von Mises stress value of the system in the IMN model was 293.23 MPa, which was higher comparing against that in the DLP fixation model (147.04 MPa). And the mean stress of the model in the IMN model (9.25 MPa) was higher than that of the DLP fixation system in terms of equivalent von Mises stress (EVMS) (P < 0.0001). The maximal value of displacement (sum) in the IMN system was 8.82 mm, which was lower than that in the DLP fixation system (9.48 mm).


This study demonstrated that the stability provided by the locking plate fixation system was superior to the intramedullary nails fixation system and served as an alternative fixation for the extra-articular proximal tibial fractures of young patients.
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