Biopolymer augmentation of the lag screw in the treatment of femoral neck fractures - A biomechanical in-vitro study

A. Paech*, E. Wilde, A. P. Schulz, G. Heinrichs, R. Wendlandt, C. Queitsch, B. Kienast, Ch Jürgens

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


The cut-out of the sliding screw is one of the most common complications in the treatment of intertrochanteric fractures. The reasons for the cut-out are: a suboptimal position of the hip-screw in the femoral head, the type of fracture and poor bone quality. The aim of this study was to reproduce the cut-out event biomechanically and to evaluate the possible prevention of this event by the use of a biopolymer augmentation of the hip screw. Concerning the density and compression force of osteoporotic femoral bone polyurethane foam according to the terms of the Association for Standard Testing Material (ASTMF 1839-97) was used as test material. The polyurethane foam Lumoltan 200 with a compression force of 3.3 Mpa and a density of 0.192 g/cm3 was used to reproduce the osteoporotic bone of the femoral fragment (density 12 lbm/ft3). A cylinder of 50 mm of length and 50 mm of width was produced by a rotary splint raising procedure with planar contact. The axial load of the system was performed by a hydraulic force cylinder of a universal test machine type Zwick 1455, Ulm, Germany. The CCD-angle of the used TGN-System was preset at 130 degrees. The migration pattern of the hip screw in the polyurethane foam was measured and expressed as a curve of the distance in millimeter [mm] against the applied load in Newton [N] up to the cut-out point. During the tests the implants reached a critical changing point from stable to unstable with an increased load progression of steps of 50 Newton. This unstable point was characterized by an increased migration speed in millimeters and higher descending gradient in the migration curve. This peak of the migration curve served as an indicator for the change of the hip screw position in the simulated bone material. The applied load in the non-augmented implant showed that in this group for a density degree of 12 (0,192 g/cm3) the mean force at the failure point was 1431 Newton (± 52Newton). In the augmented implant we found that the mean force at the failure point was 1987 Newton (± 84 Newton). This difference was statistically significant. In conclusion, the bone density is a significant factor for the stability of the hip screw implant. The osteosynthesis with screws in material with low density increases the chance for cut-out. A biopolymer augmented hip screw could significantly improve the stability of the fixation. The use of augmentation with a fast hardening bone replacement material containing polymer-ceramic changes the point of failure under axial load in the osteoporotic bone model and could significantly improve the failure point. Our study results indicate, that a decrease of failure in terms of cut-out can be achieved with polymer augmentation of hip screws in osteoporotic bones.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 08.04.2010


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