Article: PDF OnlyThe Effect of Radial Preload on the Implant-Bone Interface A Cadaveric StudyBiliouris, Timothy L.*†; Schneider, Erich*; Rahn, Berton A.†; Gasser, Beat*; Perren, Stephan M.* †Author Information *M. E. Müller-Institute for Biomechanics, University of Bern †Laboratory for Experimental Surgery, Davos, Switzerland Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma: December 1989 - Volume 3 - Issue 4 - p 323-332 Buy Abstract Summary The most common complication of external fixation is pin loosening. Preloading the implant-bone interface is believed to retard this process. Radial preload, in particular, may be useful, as it allows loading in more than one direction. To investigate the effect of varying degrees of radial preload on the pin-bone interface, 30 freshly thawed human cadaveric tibiae were sectioned into 4–cm segments. Uniform drill holes were produced in the anterior tibial ridge of all segments and custom experimental bolts, oversized in diameter by as much as 1 mm, were pressed into each specimen. Macroscopic surface fractures were noted at the time of bolt insertion for misfits >0.2 mm. Following histologic preparation, the implant-bone interface was evaluated microscopically based on the appearance of osteonal compression, lamellar distortion, and microfractures. Insertion of external fixator pins with misfits of greater than 0.4 mm resulted in significant microscopic structural damage to the bone surrounding the pin. High degrees of radial preload, exceeding the elastic limit of cortical bone, may be produced around pin holes by a small misfit. The use of oversized pins or screws must therefore be questioned. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.