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Biomechanical Analysis of Latarjet Screw Fixation: Comparison of Screw Types and Fixation Methods

      Purpose

      To compare the initial fixation stability, failure strength, and mode of failure of 5 different screw types and fixation methods commonly used for the classic Latarjet procedure.

      Methods

      Thirty-five fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulder specimens were allocated into 5 groups. A 25% anteroinferior glenoid defect was created, and a classic Latarjet coracoid transfer procedure was performed. All grafts were fixed with 2 screws, differing by screw type and/or fixation method. The groups included partially threaded solid 4.0-mm cancellous screws with bicortical fixation, partially threaded solid 4.0-mm cancellous screws with unicortical fixation, fully threaded solid 3.5-mm cortical screws with bicortical fixation, partially threaded cannulated 4.0-mm cancellous screws with bicortical fixation, and partially threaded cannulated 4.0-mm captured screws with bicortical fixation. All screws were stainless steel. Outcomes included cyclic creep and secant stiffness during cyclic loading, as well as load and work to failure during the failure test. Intergroup comparisons were made by a 1-way analysis of variance.

      Results

      There were no significant differences among different screw types or fixation methods in cyclic creep or secant stiffness after cyclic loading or in load to failure or work to failure during the failure test. Post-failure radiographs showed evidence of screw bending in only 1 specimen that underwent the Latarjet procedure with partially threaded solid cancellous screws with bicortical fixation. The mode of failure for all specimens analyzed was screw cutout.

      Conclusions

      In this biomechanical study, screw type and fixation method did not significantly influence biomechanical performance in a classic Latarjet procedure. When performing this procedure, surgeons may continue to select the screw type and method of fixation (unicortical or bicortical) based on preference; however, further studies are required to determine the optimal method of treatment.

      Clinical Relevance

      Surgeons may choose the screw type and fixation method based on preference when performing the Latarjet procedure.
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