Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2008; 21(04): 349-357
DOI: 10.3415/VCOT-06-10-0072
Clinical Communication
Schattauer GmbH

A biomechanical comparison of external skeletal fixation and plating for the stabilization of ilial osteotomies in dogs

N. Fitzpatrick
1   Fitzpatrick Referrals, Eashing, Godalming, Surrey, UK
D. Lewis
2   College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
A. Cross
3   Georgia Veterinary Specialists, Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 14 October 2006

Accepted 24 February 2007

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)


This in vitro study compares the biomechanical properties of two methods of ilial fracture repair in dogs. Ten pelves were harvested from skeletally mature mixed breed dogs weighing 20–27 kg and bilateral oblique ilial body osteotomies were created. One hemipelvis from each dog was stabilized with a 2.7 mm plate and screws and the contralateral hemipelvis was stabilized with a five pin linear external fixator construct. Each hemipelvis was mounted at an angle of 30° to an actuator platform, such that the acetabulum was centrally loaded by a steel sphere attached to the load cell of a servohydraulic materials testing machine. The construct was loaded at a constant rate of 20 mm/min. A load/displacement curve was generated for each hemipelvis by plotting the sustained load against the actuator movement. The stiffness, yield load and failure load for each hemipelvis were determined from the load/displacement curve. Bending stiffness was defined as the slope of the load/displacement curve from 100 N to yield load. The mode of failure was determined by observations made during testing and gross inspection of each specimen. The mean construct stiffness, yield load and failure load were compared between stabilization groups using a Student’s paired t-test with statistical significance set at p>0.05. Nine out of 10 of the hemipelves that were stabilized by plates and screws failed catastrophically by fracture through the caudal screw holes and nine out of 10 of the hemipelves that were stabilized using an external fixator failed by fracture of the ischium in the region supported by the mounting roller, propagating through the most caudal ischial pin. There was not any significant difference (P = 0.22) in bending stiffness between stabilization techniques, but yield (1467 N vs 2620 N; P = 0.04) and failure (1918 N vs 2687 N; P = 0.002) loads were significantly greater for hemipelves stabilized with external fixators.

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