Pullout strength of monocortical and bicortical screws in meta - physeal and diaphyseal regions of the canine humerus

Academic Article


  • Objective: Monocortical screws are commonly employed in locking plate fixation, but specific recommendations for their placement are lacking and use of short monocortical screws in metaphyseal bone may be contra indicated. Objectives of this study were to evaluate axial pullout strength of two different lengths of monocortical screws placed in various regions of the canine humerus compared to bicortical screws, and to derive cortical thickness and bone density values for those regions using quantitative computed tomography analysis (QCT). Methods: The QCT analysis was performed on 36 cadaveric canine humeri for six regions of interest (ROI). A bicortical, short monocortical, or 50% transcortical 3.5 mm screw was implanted in each ROI and axial pullout testing was performed. Results: Bicortical screws were stronger than monocortical screws in all ROI except the lateral epicondylar crest. Short monocortical metaphyseal screws were weaker than those placed in other regions. The 50% transcortical screws were stronger than the short monocortical screws in the condyle. A linear relationship between screw length and pullout strength was observed. Clinical significance: Cortical thickness and bone density measurements were obtained from multiple regions of the canine humerus using QCT. Use of short monocortical screws may contribute to failure of locking plate fixation of humeral fractures, especially when placed in the condyle. When bicortical screw placement is not possible, maximizing monocortical screw length may optimize fixation stability for distal humeral fractures.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vaughn DP; Syrcle JA; Ball JE; Elder SH; Gambino JM; Griffin RL; McLaughlin RM
  • Start Page

  • 466
  • End Page

  • 474
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 6