Locking plates increase the strength of dynamic hip screws

D P A Jewell, S Gheduzzi, M S Mitchell, A W Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Introduction Failure of a dynamic hip screw (DHS) fixation leads to decreased mobility of the patient and frequently to a decrease in general health. The most common mode of failure of a DHS is cut out of the lag screw from the femoral head. The second most common mode of failure is lift-off of the plate from the femur. The aim of this laboratory-based experimental study was to determine whether a DHS secured to an osteoporotic femur with a locking screw plate would provide a stronger construct than the standard DHS plate. Method The standard DHS design was compared to a DHS with fixed angle locking screws holding the DHS plate to the femur. Standard dynamic compression plates (DCP) and locking compression plates (LCP) were attached to synthetic, osteoporotic bone. A load was applied to replicate the forces occurring following the fixation of unstable, intertrochanteric hip fractures. A bracket on the proximal end of the plate replicated the lag screw in the femoral head. The constructs were cyclically loaded by a screw-driven material-testing machine and the number of cycles before failure occurred was determined. Results The mean number of cycles to failure for the locking plate construct was 2.6 times greater than for the standard screw construct (285 versus 108 cycles, respectively p = 0.016). Conclusion A dynamic hip screw with fixed angle locking screws would reduce the risk of DHS failure. A locking screw DHS would be particularly useful in patients with osteoporotic bone, and in patients with less stable fracture configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-212
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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