Thin wires offer many advantages for external fixation of bones in the treatment of nonunions and bone defects and in limb lengthening, which may require prolonged treatment. Tensioning of these wires is critical to their ability to stabilize the bone fragments. Under compression or distraction loads, these wires deflect and increase their stiffness. Several techniques, including bolt head torque, post tilt, turnbuckle, and dynamometer are compared. The “self-stiffening” effect of these tensioned wires may enhance biologic aspects of healing.
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