J Foot Ankle Surg 2019 Sep 23;58(5):916-919. Epub 2019 Jul 23.
Center Director for Foot and Ankle Surgery, Department of Orthopaedics and Rheumatology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH.
The purpose of this cadaveric study was to compare the biomechanical properties of dual nonlocked plating and single-locked plating using matched pairs of isolated fibula specimens. Fractures were simulated in 10 matched pairs of isolated cadaveric fibulae and plated with a single lateral locking plate for right-sided specimens, or with a one-third tubular plate and a 7-hole 2.4-mm minifragment adaption plate for left-sided specimens. An external rotation torque was applied at a rate of 1°/second, and torque at 10° was measured. Each fibula specimen was evaluated using a micro computed tomography scanner, and bone mineral density was calculated as milligrams of bone per cubic centimeter of volume. Dual nonlocked plating and locked plating specimens demonstrated torque measurements that were not significantly different at 10° of external rotation (1.48 N·m and 1.92 N·m, respectively; p = .093). The stiffness of the dual nonlocked plated and locked plating constructs were not significantly different (p = .228 and p = .543, respectively). The effect of bone mineral density on maximum torque at failure was not a reliable predictor of maximum torque in either the dual nonlocked plating or locked plating specimens (R = 0.548 and R = 0.096, respectively). We found no differences in torque at 10° of external rotation or stiffness between locking plate and dual nonlocking plate fixation constructs. This study provides evidence that dual nonlocked plating likely constitutes adequate fixation in situations in which a locking plate is being considered for comminuted distal fibula fractures.