Biomechanical Comparison of a Novel Method of Tricortical Kirschner Wire Fixation of Distal Chevron Osteotomies of the First Metatarsal Versus Traditional Kirschner Wire and Versus Screw Fixation

Jie Chen, Natalie R. Black, Randall Morris, Vinod K. Panchbhavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Traditional Kirschner wire (K-wire) stabilization of first metatarsal distal chevron osteotomy involves 1 cortex of fixation; however, unicortical fixation is associated with a high complication rate, including pin migration. A method of K-wire fixation utilizing 3 cortices may be biomechanically superior and potentially equivalent to single-screw fixation. Methods: Cadaveric specimens fixed with tricortical K-wires were tested in both the physiologic and cantilever conditions against specimens fixed with unicortical K-wires (N = 8) and single screws (N = 9) utilizing matched-pair comparison groups. Differences in physiologic and cantilever fixed/intact stiffness ratio and cantilever failure load were determined. Results: The tricortical fixation specimens had a significantly higher stiffness ratio in cantilever loading than the unicortical fixation specimens (60.50% tricortical, 34.17% unicortical, P =.02) but not in physiologic load (15.34% tricortical, 25.75% unicortical, P =.23). In cantilever failure loading, the tricortical fixation specimens had a significantly higher load to failure than the unicortical fixation specimens (132.81 N tricortical, 58.58 N unicortical, P <.01). Stiffness ratio under physiologic load, cantilever load, and ultimate load to failure were not significantly different between tricortical K-wire and screw-fixation groups. Conclusion: Tricortical K-wire fixation for distal chevron osteotomies is biomechanically superior to traditional unicortical K-wire fixation, and equivalent to single-screw fixation. Levels of Evidence: Level V: Cadaver study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Kirschner wire
  • chevron
  • first metatarsal
  • hallux valgus
  • screw

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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