Engineering Transactions, 51, 2-3, pp. 255–265, 2003

Monitoring Techniques of Bone Fracture Healing Using External Fixators

D. Jasińska-Choromańska
Warsaw University of Technology

I. Sadzyński
Warsaw University of Technology

Long bone fractures can be healed using external fixators – devices that stiffly fix the fractured fragments, attached to the bone by pins parallel to the bone frame. This method enables to benefit both from healing and diagnostics of fracture during osteogenesis. Osteogenesis, traditionally diagnosed using X-rays methods (RTG, densitometry), can also be more precisely determined with mechanical properties like strength and stiffness inside the fracture slot. The treatment of long bone fractures by external fixators offers a unique opportunity to control the healing of the fracture by measuring the compression forces on the frame, that occurs under the load applied to the bone and depends on the mechanical properties of the fracture. The procedure of measurement of the compression force on the frame can be performed using tensometers, what is a cheap and simple method, and can be performed by the patient at home. The measurement of osteogenesis gives a possibility of more precise diagnostics of the fracture. It can also be combined with computer techniques like artificial intelligence. The paper presents one of the methods of monitoring the bone fracture healing.
Keywords: external fixators; fracture healing; osteosynthesis; bone strength and stiffness
Full Text: PDF
Copyright © Polish Academy of Sciences & Institute of Fundamental Technological Research (IPPT PAN).


A.E. GOODSHIP, J. KENWRIGHT, H. S. RIGBY, P. E. WATKINS, The role of factor frame stiffness in the control of fracture healing, An experimental study, J. Biomech., 1027–1035, 1993.

J.S.M. DWYER, G.A. EYANS, J.H. KUIPER, P.J. OWEN, J. B. RICHARDSON, Stiffness measurements to assess healing during leg lengthening, J. Bone Joint Surg., [Br], 78–B: 286–289, 1996.

J.L. CUNNINGHAM, A.E. GOODSHIP, J. KENWRIGHT, B.T. O'CONNOR, J.B. RICHARDSON, Measuring stiffness can define healing of tibial fractures, J. Bone Joint Surg., [Br], 76–B: 389–394, 1994.

M.J. CHEHADE, N. NAWANA, MJ. PEARCY, A. P. POHL, Clinical implications of stiff ness and strength changes in fracture healing, J. Bone Joint Surg., [Br], 79–B: 9–12, 1997.

H.T. ARO, E.Y.S. CHAO, Bone healing patterns affected by loading fracture fragment stability, fracture type and fracture site compression, Glin. Orthop., 293, 8–17.

J.L. CUNNINGHAM, J. KENWRIGHT, C.J. KERSHAW, Tibial external fixation, weight bearing, and fracture movement, Cliri. Orthop., 293, 28–36.

R. SOBOLEWSKI, A. WALL, Researches on the influence of the stiffness of fixation on tibial fracture healing using Zespól fixator in external mode [in Polish], Chir. Narz. Ruchu Ortop. Poi., 61, Supl. 3B, 23–26, 1996.

J. DESZCZYŃSKI, J. KARPIŃSKI, The application of orthopaedic external fixators Dynastab with consideration to new methods of monitoring and computer prognostication of fracture healing process [in Polish], Chir. Narz. Ruchu Ortop. Poi., 61, Supl. 4B, 143–147, 1996.

D. JASIŃSKA-CHOROMAŃSKA, External mechatronic orthopaedic fixators – modelling, computer simulations and clinical experiences, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 38, 3, 549–572, 2000.

D. JASIŃSKA-CHOROMAŃSKA, Modelling and computer simulations in design of unilateral orthopaedic external fixators [in Polish], Oficyna Wydawnicza PW, Warszawa, z. 186, 2001.

D. JASIŃSKA-CHOROMAŃSKA, J. DESZCZYŃSKI, J. KARPIŃSKI, Computer analysis of the influence of three-dimensional layout of bone implants on stability of fracture fixation [in Polish], Ortopedia, Traumatologia, Rehabilitacja, l, 14, 35–38; 1999.

DOI: 10.24423/engtrans.490.2003