Application of a shape-memory alloy internal fixator for treatment of acetabular fractures with a follow-up of two to nine years in China

Xinwei Liu, Shuogui Xu, Chuncai Zhang, Jiacan Su, Baoqing Yu
International Orthopaedics 2010, 34 (7): 1033-40
Displaced acetabular fractures should be treated surgically. Over the past decade, surgical approaches to the acetabulum and the surgical technique for repair of common fracture patterns have advanced. Excellent outcomes after repair of these injuries can be achieved. The aim of this study was to assess the medium-term results of reconstruction of acetabular fractures by using shape-memory alloy designed by the authors. This is a retrospective review conducted at a level 1 trauma centre. From October 1999 to July 2009, 19 patients with acetabular fractures were treated with our patented Ni-Ti shape-memory alloy acetabular tridimensional memory alloy-fixation system (ATMFS). The ATMFS device was cooled with ice before implantation and then warmed to 40-50°C after implantation to produce balanced axial and compression forces that would stabilise the fracture three dimensionally. Our results are as follows; according to the D'Aubigne-Postel scoring system: Fifteen cases out of 19 (79%) achieved excellent or good clinical results. In two patients, late complications included avascular necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH) associated with posterior dislocation of the hip joint two years after the operation. We also observed two cases of grade II or III ectopic ossification, with good hip function, and one case of traumatic arthritis. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the effectiveness of the ATMFS device for the management of acetabular fracture. The device provides continuous compression of the fracture with minimal disruption to the local blood supply.

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