Using distraction forces to drive an autodistractor during limb lengthening

School of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Medical Engineering & Physics (Impact Factor: 1.84). 04/2011; 33(8):1001-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2011.04.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Distraction osteogenesis can result in high forces developing in the limb. To determine and control the distraction forces (DF), a motorized distractor driven by feedback from DF was developed and used to lengthen the tibiae of 6 sheep undergoing distraction osteogenesis. The forces were measured continually, and, in 4 of the sheep, a force threshold was set, above which an increase in rate was initiated. The rate kept increasing to a set limit if forces remained above the threshold; otherwise, the rate was decreased. Radiographs were acquired biweekly, and muscle samples were analyzed from both the operated and contralateral limbs upon termination of the experiment. Results demonstrated a drop in DF associated with increased lengthening rate, attributed to separation of the callus as indicated by radiography. Histological evidence of muscle damage generally correlated with higher DF levels. There was a significant decrease in muscle fiber diameter in lengthened relative to contralateral limbs. Collectively, the results demonstrated the use of a force-driven distraction system and support the need for considering force data in regulating distraction rates to achieve optimal clinical outcomes.

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