In vitro biomechanical comparison of a modified 5.5 mm locking compression plate fixation with a 5.5 mm locking compression plate fixation of osteotomized equine third metacarpal bones

Gary A. Sod, Equine Health Studies Program, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.
Laura M. Riggs
Colin F. Mitchell
George S. Martin
Marjorie S. Gill


OBJECTIVES: To compare number of cycles to failure for palmarodorsal 4-point bending of a modified 5.5 mm broad locking compression plate (M5.5-LCP) fixation with a 5.5 mm broad LCP (5.5-LCP) fixation used to repair osteotomized equine third metacarpal (MC3) bones. STUDY DESIGN: In vitro biomechanical testing. ANIMAL POPULATION: Adult equine cadaveric MC3 bones (n=6 pairs). METHODS: An 8-hole, M5.5-LCP, obtained by having a 1.0 mm thickness removed from the bone contact portion of the 5.5-LCP, was applied to the dorsal surface of 1 randomly selected MC3 from each pair, and an 8-hole, 5.5-LCP was applied dorsally to the contralateral bone from each pair using a combination of cortical and locking screws. Plates and screws were applied using standard ASIF techniques to MC3 bones with a mid-diaphyseal osteotomy. MC3 constructs had palmarodorsal 4-point bending cyclic fatigue testing. Mean cycles to failure for each method were compared using a paired t-test within each group. Significance was set at P<.05. RESULTS: Mean±SD cycles to failure of the M5.5-LCP fixation (188,641±17,971) was significantly greater than that of the 5.5-LCP fixation (166,497±15,539). CONCLUSION: M5.5-LCP fixation was superior to 5.5-LCP fixation of osteotomized equine MC3 bones in resisting cyclic fatigue under palmarodorsal 4-point bending. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This suggests that biological plate fixation is not the ideal choice for osteotomized equine MC3 bones.