McMaster University

McMaster University

Novel Bilateral Plating Technique for Treating Periprosthetic Fractures

We are pleased to share with you a recent publication in Clinical Biomechanics Journal. This publication is entitled "Preliminary testing of a novel bilateral plating technique for treating periprosthetic fractures of the distal femur".

Please find access to the full-version of the article click here.

Muizelaar A, Winemaker MJ, Queneville CE, Wohl GR. Preliminary testing of a novel bilateral plating technique for treating periprosthetic fractures of the distal femur. Clinical Biomechanics 2015;30:921-6.


Current stabilization methods for periprosthetic fractures of the distal femur are inadequate in achieving fracture fixation, with complication rates as high as 29%. A major contributor to poor outcomes is that these methods rely only on screw purchase in the bone to maintain fracture reduction. We designed, manufactured and evaluated a novel plating method that utilizes the femoral prosthesis to enhance stability for treatment of distal femoral periprosthetic fractures.

Medial and lateral plates were designed and manufactured based on geometry of a synthetic femur and femoral prosthesis. The two plates were linked via a compression screw and a small tab on each plate that inserted into pre-existing slots on the prosthesis. Mechanical tests (500 N compression or 250 N anterior directed cantilever bending), were performed on synthetic femurs with simple transverse fractures (3 mm gap) just superior to the distal femoral prosthesis that were stabilized using either the prototype plates or a single lateral plate. Translational movements of the fracture site during loading were measured using 3D motion tracking.

With the single lateral plate, the distal fragment experienced a resultant displacement of 0.40 mm under cantilever bending and 0.61 mm under compression (13% and 20% respectively of fracture gap width). With the bilateral plates, fracture gap motion was significantly reduced to 0.13 mm under bending and compression (4.3% of the fracture gap).

Our results indicate that a bilateral plating method is capable of improving stabilization of periprosthetic fractures compared to the traditional lateral plating technique.

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