Optimal Fixation of the Capitellar Fragment in Distal Humeru
A Study was conducted to determine if orthogonal or parallel plate position provides superior fixation of the separate capitellar fragment often present in intra-articular distal humerus fractures. Researchers hypothesized that orthogonal plating would provide stiffer fixation given a greater number of opportunities for capitellar fixation and screw trajectories perpendicular to the fracture plane offered by a posterolateral plate compared with a parallel plate construct.

10 matched pairs of cadaveric distal humeri were used to compare parallel and orthogonal plating in a fracture gap model with an isolated capitellar fragment. The capitellum was loaded in 20 degrees of flexion using a cyclic, ramp-loading protocol. Fracture displacement was measured using video tracking software. The primary outcome was axial stiffness for each construct. Secondary outcomes included maximum axial and angular fracture displacement.

--The parallel plate construct was more than twice as stiff as the orthogonal plate construct averaged across all loads (1464.8 ± 224.0 N/mm vs. 526.3 ± 90.8 N/mm).

--Average axial fracture displacement was 0.15 ± 0.03 mm versus 0.53 ± 0.10 mm for parallel versus orthogonal plating, respectively.

--Angular fracture displacement was minimal for both constructs (0.009 ± 0.001 degrees vs. 0.028 ± 0.006 degrees for parallel vs. orthogonal constructs).

Conclusively, a parallel plate structure, despite fewer fixation points, offered a firmer fixation of the simulated capitellar fracture fragment with less displacement than the structure of an orthogonal plate in this biomechanical investigation. Parallel fastening should also be explored in fractures with a separate capitular fragment in the setting of an articular fracture where absolute stability and primary bone cure are needed, as far as the size of the fragment and the orientation fractures permits.

Source: https://journals.lww.com/jorthotrauma/Abstract/2021/07000/Optimal_Fixation_of_the_Capitellar_Fragment_in.11.aspx