Improved wire stiffness with modified connection bolts in Ilizarov external frames: a biomechanical study

Jan Gessmann, Birger Jettkant, Matthias Königshausen, Thomas Armin Schildhauer, Dominik Seybold
Frame stability in Ilizarov external fixators is mainly dependent on the tension of the transosseous wires, which are clamped to the ring by connection bolts. It was the purpose of this biomechanical study to investigate the holding capacity of a modified bolt design featuring a ruffled wire-bolt interface (TrueLok TM ) and its influence on wire stiffness in comparison with that of classic bolts featuring a smooth, unruffled wire-bolt interface. Six different ring and bolt configurations were
more » ... nfigurations were tested using a simplified model consisting of a single ring and wire. The holding capacity at two different tightening torques (10 and 14 Nm) of classic cannulated bolts (CB) and slotted bolts (SB) was determined on Ilizarov and Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF TM ) rings, whereas the modified TrueLok TM CBs and SBs were used with the TrueLok TM rings. The wire stiffness was calculated via a regression analysis of the load-displacement graphs. The modified TrueLok TM bolts demonstrated significantly better slippage resistance than the classic bolts in all configurations and wire stiffness was significantly higher in the TrueLok TM frame set-ups. After maximum loading, all of the wires showed plastic deformation, including constant wire deflection and dent marks at the clamped wire ends. In conclusion, the decrease in wire stiffness can be explained mainly as a result of wire slippage, but plastic deformation and material yielding also contribute. The relatively simple modification made by roughening the wire-bolt interface results in improved holding capacity and wire stiffness. A frame that contains these modified TrueLok TM bolts should provide improved mechanical stiffness.
doi:10.5277/abb120402 fatcat:xikibfah5vdx3mu65exit6je6q