A Biomechanical Investigation of a Novel Implant for the Stabilization of Distal Radius Fractures
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Distal radius fractures are the single most common type of fracture suffered among the adult population. Presently, clinical decision making regarding optimal treatment is inconclusive. The goal of this thesis was to design, develop, and biomechanically test a novel implant for the stabilization of distal radius fractures. The novel implant is intended to provide a minimally invasive, low cost alternative to locked volar plates, while still permitting an earlier return to function. The implant consists of an angled bar with a sharp cutting edge and is inserted using a minimally invasive approach through the radial styloid. Surgical instrumentation was designed to facilitate the procedure in a controlled manner. To determine whether the implant would be capable of providing an early return to function, biomechanical tests were conducted both experimentally and numerically. Biomechanical testing showed that mechanical fixation with the novel implant does not support and early return to function.