A prototype bone screw design for osteoporotic bone

L. Leslie, J.G. Swadener, H. Bansal, E. Rose, Katie Lamb, S. Deshmukh, K. Theuvendran

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review



Introduction: One in five menand one half of women over the age of 50 will experience a bone fracture, whichis frequently accompanied by poor bone health. This combination of poor bonehealth and fracture is a two edge sword, because not only does poor bone healthmake fractures more likely, it also reduces the efficacy of standard fracturetreatments. Currently available surgical fixation devices that were originallydeveloped for healthy bone, such as pins, plates and bone screws, are often noteffective for patients with osteoporosis, resulting in unsatisfactory outcomesor longer and more painful recovery times. One major issue is the design ofbone screws, which can loosen or pull-out from osteoporotic bone. Osteopenicscrews with larger outer thread diameters have been developed to try andaddress this problem. The larger diameter screws have been shown to be 60–70 %stronger in lab tests of individual screws but the larger diameter screwscannot be used with the standard spacing in fixation plates without the risk ofcausing fractures between the screws. In addition, many fractures occur nearjoints where there is not room to increase the spacing between screws.Therefore, new bone screws are needed for treatment of fractures in osteoporoticbone.

Materials and Methods: Afterdeveloping a novel bone screw design, we fabricated screws using rapidprototyping methods. Screws were inserted into 10 pcf density sawbones polyurethanefoam as a model for osteoporotic bone. Pull-out tests were conducted using theprototype bone screw design and the standard screw design for comparison inaccordance with ASTM 543-13.

Results and Discussion: Ourprototype screws have the same outer diameter as standard bone screws, but haveoptimised threads. For pull-out tests in 10 psf density sawbones poly-urethanefoam, the prototype screw design was 60 % stronger than the standard bone screwdesign (p<0.01).

Conclusion: Our novel bonescrew design provides significant improvement in standard tests with syntheticbone material. Additional tests are needed to determine if the bone screwswould be suitable for human trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberP68
Pages (from-to)S712-S713
Number of pages2
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue numberSuppl.6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
EventOsteoporosis Conference 2014 - ICC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Nov 20142 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Osteoporosis Conference 2014, 30 November – 2 December 2014, Birmingham (UK)


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