We were interested in determining if a smart intramedullary rod made of nitinol shape-memory alloy is capable of correcting deformed immature long bones. Because of limitations in our study design the process was reversed in that we examined the smart rod's ability to create a deformity rather than to correct one. Smart rods of different lengths and diameters were heat-treated to resume a radius of curvature of 30 to 110 mm. The low and high temperature phases of the smart rods were set, respectively, at 0°C to 4°C and 36°C to 38°C. The preshaped smart intramedullary rods were implanted in the cooled martensite phase in the medullary canal of the tibia in eight rabbits, where they restored their austenite form, causing a continuous bending force. On a weekly basis anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the surgically treated tibia and the contralateral tibia were obtained for comparison. Rabbits were euthanized 6 weeks after surgery and computed tomography scans of both tibias were used for image analysis. Smart rods with a larger radius of curvature showed only minimal signs of remodeling; however, rods with a radius of curvature of 50 and 70 mm generated enough force history to create bone remodeling and deformation. The amount of bone deformation was highly magnified when unicortical corticotomy on the tension side was done. Based on this preliminary study the technology of the smart intramedullary rod may provide a valuable alternative method to correct pediatric skeletal deformities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical orthopaedics and related research|
|State||Published - Jul 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine