OBJECTIVE: To compare the initial biomechanical properties of olecranon osteotomies stabilized with intramedullary pins and a Nitinol bone staple to osteotomies stabilized with pin and tension band wire fixation.
STUDY DESIGN: Ex vivo mechanical evaluation on cadaveric bones.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ten pairs of cadaveric forelimbs from skeletally mature Greyhounds with an olecranon osteotomy stabilized with either a pin and Nitinol bone staple or a pin and tension band wire. A single load to failure was applied to each specimen through the triceps tendon. Biomechanical properties were compared based on stiffness, yield load, and maximum load to failure and load at 2 mm of axial displacement.
RESULTS: Specimens stabilized with the bone staple were biomechanically superior in all the variables tested. There was significantly greater stiffness (118.0 ± 25.9 N/mm versus 70.1 ± 40.4 N/mm; p = 0.005), yield load (319.0 ± 99.8 N versus 238.0 ± 42.5 N; p = 0.03), maximum load sustained (385.0 ± 99.2 N versus 287.0 ± 37.4 N; p = 0.009), and load at 2 mm of axial displacement (218.0 ± 51.5 N versus 138.0 ± 48.7 N; p = 0.002) in specimens stabilized with pins and a Nitinol bone staple than specimens stabilized with pin and tension band wire fixation.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The pin and Nitinol bone staple construct provides a biomechanically superior alternative to pin and tension band wire fixation for stabilization of olecranon osteotomies, and its use warrants further clinical investigation.