Finite element analysis of locking plate and two types of intramedullary nails for treating mid-shaft clavicle fractures

Ming Ni, Wenxin Niu, Duo Wai Chi Wong, Wei Zeng, Jiong Mei, Ming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


However, the biomechanical performances of these fixations and implants have not been well evaluated. This study aims to compare the construct stability, stress distribution and fracture micro-motion of three fixations based on finite element (FE) method. Methods: The FE model of clavicle was reconstructed from CT images of a male volunteer. A mid-shaft fracture gap was created in the intact clavicle. Three fixation styles were simulated including locking plate (LP), anatomic intramedullary nail (CRx), and straight intramedullary nail (RCP). Two loading scenarios (axial compression and inferior bending) were applied at the distal end of the clavicle to simulate arm abduction, while the sternal end was fixed. Results: Under both conditions, the LP was the stiffest, followed by the CRx, and the RCP was the weakest. LP also displayed a more evenly stress distribution for both implant and bone. RCP had a higher stress compared with CRx in both conditions. Moreover, all implants sustained higher stress level under the loading condition of bending than compression. Conclusions: The plate fixation significantly stabilizes the fracture gap, reduces the implant stress, and serves as the recommended fixation for the mid-shaft clavicle fracture. The CRx is an alternative device to treat clavicle shaft fracture, but the shoulder excessive activities should be avoided after operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1623
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Biomechanics
  • Clavicle fracture
  • Finite element
  • Internal fixation
  • Intramedullary nailing
  • Plate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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