A. Moroni (Bologne-Italie)
The Interest on Hydroxyapatite-Coated Screws
External fixation offers various advantages compared with other fixation methods. It is a fast, relatively simple and atraumatic technique. In a highly loaded animal study, three tapered pin types were compared: Type A uncoated, Type B coated with hydroxyapatite and Type C coated with titanium. There was a 13-fold increase in the extraction torque of Type B pins compared with Type A, and a twofold increase compared with Type C pins. Extraction torque was significantly lower compared with the corresponding insertion torque in both Types A (p<0.001) and C (p = 0.003). Conversely, with the hydroxyapatite-coated pins there was no difference between extraction and insertion torque. In a clinical study of 76 external fixation pins in 19 patients treated with hemicallotasis for osteoarthritis on the medial side of the knee, pin insertion and extraction torque forces were measured. The patients were randomized to be treated with either standard tapered pins or tapered pins coated with hydroxyapatite. Extraction torque of the hydroxyapatite-coated pins was higher that the extraction torque of the standard pins in both cancellous and cortical bone (p < 0.0001). These studies demonstrate that with the use of hydroxyapatite-coated pins, no deterioration of pin fixation occurs, and that there is no significant pin loosening and infection, regardless of bone type and loading conditions.