US 20050137595 A1
Disclosed is a bone fracture fixation device, such as for reducing and compressing fractures in the proximal femur. The fixation device includes an elongate body with a helical cancellous bone anchor on a distal end. An axially moveable proximal anchor is carried by the proximal end of the fixation device. The device is rotated into position across the fracture or separation between adjacent bones and into the adjacent bone or bone fragment, and the proximal anchor is distally advanced to apply secondary compression and lock the device into place. The device may also be used for soft tissue attachments.
53. A method of aiding bone fusion between first and second vertebral bodies of the spine, comprising the steps of:
advancing a fixation device through the first vertebral body in the direction of the second vertebral body;
rotating at least a distal anchor of the fixation device to secure the fixation device to the second vertebral body; and
axially advancing a proximal anchor distally along the fixation device to engage the first vertebral body.
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This invention is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/822,803, filed Mar. 30, 2001, the entire contents of which are hereby expressly incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to internal bone fracture fixation devices. In one application, the present invention relates to bone fracture fixation devices and methods adapted for fixation, among other fractures, of femoral neck and other proximal femoral fractures.
2. Description of the Related Art
The femur, otherwise known as the thigh bone, generally comprises an elongate shaft extending from the hip to the knee. The proximal end of the shaft includes a head, a neck, a greater trochanter and a lesser trochanter. The head of the femur fits into the acetabular cup of the hip bone to form a ball and socket joint at the hip. The distal end of the femur includes a medial condyle and a lateral condyle. The condyles engage an upper end of the tibia to form the knee joint. Overall, the femur is the longest and strongest bone in the skeleton. However, portions of the femur are extremely susceptible to fracturing.
Pertrochanteric fractures among geriatric patients are the most frequent in connection with those of the region of the neck of the bone. The advanced age and the pathologies which are encountered in these patients make a timely stabilization of skeletal injuries necessary in order to reduce to a minimum the bed confinement and the rehabilitation times. Preferably, devices and procedures are utilized which minimize complications brought about by the so-called immobilization syndrome, which may be lethal for patients in delicate metabolical circumstances. It is also preferable to reduce to a minimum blood losses related to surgical intervention. At the same time, the syntheses means utilized must be stable in order to allow the patient to very timely assume a seated position and, two or three days following the intervention, to reassume an erect posture with progressive bearing of weight.
Internal fixation of femoral fractures in general is one of the most common orthopedic surgical procedures. Fractures of the femur occur in both the proximal portion of the femur and the distal portion of the femur. Fractures of the proximal portion of the femur (hip fractures) are generally classified as femoral neck fractures (capital or sub-capital), intertrochanteric fractures and subtrochanteric fractures. Fractures of the distal portion of the femur (knee fractures) are referred to as supracondylar fractures. Supracondylar fractures generally extend vertically between the condyles at the lower end of the femur to separate the distal portion of the femur into two main bone fragments. A fracture line may be further comminuted to create a plurality of smaller bone fragments. Fractures of the femur which extend into the neck of the bone are generally more difficult to treat than fractures restricted to the shaft of the femur.
Operative treatment of the fractures requires that the fractures be internally fixed and possibly compressed. Fractures of the neck, head or trochanters of the femur have been treated with a variety of compression screw assemblies which include generally a compression plate having a barrel member, a lag screw and a compressing screw. The compression plate is secured to the exterior of the femur and the barrel member is inserted into a predrilled hole in the direction of the femoral head. The lag screw which has a threaded end and a smooth portion is inserted through the barrel member so that it extends across the break and into the femoral head. The threaded portion engages the femoral head. The compressing screw connects the lag screw to the plate. By adjusting the tension of the compressing screw the compression (reduction) of the fracture can be adjusted.
A variety of elongated implants (nail, screw, pin, etc.) have been developed, which are adapted to be positioned along the longitudinal axis of the femoral neck with a leading (distal) end portion in the femoral head so as to stabilize a fracture of the femoral neck. The elongated implant may be implanted by itself or connected to another implant such as a side plate or intramedullary rod. The leading end portion of the implant typically includes means to positively grip the femoral head bone (external threads, expanding arms, etc.), but the inclusion of such gripping means can introduce several significant problems. First, implants with sharp edges on the leading end portion, such as the externally threaded implants, exhibit a tendency to migrate proximally towards the hip joint weight bearing surface after implantation. This can occur when the proximal cortical bone has insufficient integrity to resist distal movement of the screw head. Such proximal migration under physiological loading, which is also referred to as femoral head cut-out, can lead to significant damage to the adjacent hip joint. Also, the externally threaded implants can generate large stress concentrations in the bone during implantation which can lead to stripping of the threads formed in the bone and thus a weakened grip. The movable arms of known expanding arm devices are usually free at one end and attached at the other end to the main body of the leading end portion of the implant. As a result, all fatigue loading is concentrated at the attached ends of the arms and undesirably large bending moments are realized at the points of attachment. In addition, conventional threaded implants generally exhibit insufficient holding power under tension, such that the threads can be stripped out of the femoral head either by overtightening during the implantation procedure or during post operative loading by the patient's weight.
Thus, notwithstanding the variety of efforts in the prior art, there remains a need for an orthopedic fixation device with improved locking force such as within the femoral head in a femoral neck application, which resists migration and rotation, and which can be easily and rapidly deployed within the bone.
There is provided in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a method of securing a first bone fragment to a second bone fragment. The method comprises the steps of drilling a bore through the first bone fragment in the direction of the second bone fragment, and advancing through the bore a fixation device comprising a first portion and a second portion that are coupled to each other. A distal anchor of the fixation device is rotated to secure the fixation device to the second fragment, and the proximal anchor is axially advanced to engage the first fragment and provide compression across the fracture.
In one application of the method, the second bone fragment comprises the head of a femur. Alternatively, the second bone fragment comprises a tibia, a fibula, a femur, a humurus, a radius, or an ulna. The first bone fragment may comprise a condyle.
The method may additionally comprise the step of uncoupling the first portion from the second portion.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a femoral neck fracture fixation device. The device comprises an elongate body, having a proximal end and a distal end and a helical anchor on the distal end. The helical anchor is wrapped about a central core or axial lumen. An outer edge of the helical anchor defines an outer boundary and the central core or axial lumen defines a minor diameter. A first retention structure is provided on the body, proximal to the anchor. A proximal anchor is moveably carried by the body. The proximal anchor is movable in the distal direction with respect to the body and the retention structure resists proximal movement of the proximal anchor with respect to the body.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a bone fracture fixation device. The device comprises an elongate body having a proximal end and a distal end. A cancellous bone anchor is on the distal end. The cancellous bone anchor comprises a helical flange wrapped about a central core or axial lumen. An outer edge of the helical anchor defines an outer boundary and the central core or axial lumen defines a minor diameter. A proximal anchor is axially movably carried on the body. Complimentary surface structures are provided between the body and the proximal anchor that permit advancing the proximal anchor in the distal direction to provide compression across a fracture but that resist axial proximal movement of the proximal anchor.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of treating a femoral fracture. The method comprises the steps of drilling at least one and preferably two or three bores distally into the femur in the direction of a fracture, and advancing into each bore a fixation device that comprises a body having a first portion that forms a distal bone anchor and a second portion that forms a proximal end. A proximal component is rotated to engage the distal anchor with the bone distal to the fracture, and a proximal anchor is advanced distally along the fixation device to compress the fracture.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention a bone fracture fixation device comprises an elongate body having a proximal end and a distal end. The body also includes a helical anchor on the distal end. A first retention structure is on the body located proximal to the anchor. A proximal anchor is moveably carried by the body and has a tubular housing. The tubular housing has at least one barb extending radially outwardly from the tubular housing and defining an engagement surface that lies within a plane that is transverse to a longitudinal axis of the tubular housing. The proximal anchor is movable in the distal direction with respect to the body and the retention structure resists proximal movement of the proximal anchor with respect to the body.
Preferably, the drilling step comprises drilling the bore along an axis which extends into the femoral neck and in the direction of the head of the femur. In one embodiment, the advancing a proximal anchor step comprises axially advancing the proximal anchor without rotating the proximal anchor with respect to the fixation device. The femoral fracture may be a femoral neck fracture (e.g., capital or subcapital), an intertrochanteric fracture or a subtrochanteric fracture.
Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the detailed description of preferred embodiments which follows, when considered together with the attached drawings and claims.
Although the fixation devices of the present invention will be disclosed primarily in the context of fractures of the proximal femur, the methods and structures disclosed herein are intended for application in any of a wide variety of bones and fractures, as will be apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein. For example, the bone fixation device of the present invention is applicable in a wide variety of fractures and osteotomies in the hand, such as interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal arthrodesis, transverse phalangeal and metacarpal fracture fixation, spiral phalangeal and metacarpal fracture fixation, oblique phalangeal and metacarpal fracture fixation, intercondylar phalangeal and metacarpal fracture fixation, phalangeal and metacarpal osteotomy fixation as well as others known in the art. A wide variety of phalangeal and metatarsal osteotomies and fractures of the foot may also be stabilized using the bone fixation device of the present invention. These include, among others, distal metaphyseal osteotomies such as those described by Austin and Reverdin-Laird, base wedge osteotomies, oblique diaphyseal, digital arthrodesis as well as a wide variety of others that will be known to those of skill in the art. The bone fixation device may be used with or without plate(s) or washer(s), all of which can be either permanent, absorbable, or combinations.
Fractures of the fibular and tibial malleoli, pilon fractures and other fractures of the bones of the leg may be fixated and stabilized with the present invention with or without the use of plates, both absorbable or non-absorbing types, and with alternate embodiments of the current invention. Fractures and osteotomies of the mid and hind foot, tarsal arthrodesis and osteotomy, or others as are known to those with skill in the art. One example is the fixation of the medial malleolar avulsion fragment fixation.
The fixation device of the present invention may also be used to attach tissue or structure to the bone, such as in ligament reattachment and other soft tissue attachment procedures. Plates and washers, with or without tissue spikes for soft tissue attachment, and other implants may also be attached to bone, using either resorbable or nonresorbable fixation devices depending upon the implant and procedure. The fixation device may also be used to attach sutures to the bone, such as in any of a variety of tissue suspension procedures.
For example, peripheral applications for the fixation devices include utilization of the device for fastening soft tissue such as capsule, tendon or ligament to bone. It may also be used to attach a synthetic material such as marlex mesh, to bone or allograft material such as tensor fascia lata, to bone. In the process of doing so, retention of the material to bone may be accomplished with the collar as shown, or the pin and or collar may be modified to accept a suture or other material for facilitation of this attachment.
Specific examples include attachment of the posterior tibial tendon to the navicular bone in the Kidner operation. This application may be accomplished using an appropriately sized implant of the present invention along with a washer with distally extending soft tissue spikes. Navicular-cuneiform arthrodesis may be performed utilizing the device and concurrent attachment of the tendon may be accomplished. Attachment of the tendon may be accomplished in the absence of arthrodesis by altering the placement of the implant in the adjacent bone.
Ligament or capsule reattachment after rupture, avulsion or detachment, such as in the ankle, shoulder or knee can also be accomplished using the devices disclosed herein.
The fixation-devices can also be used to aid bone fusion between adjacent bones, bone fragments or any of a variety of articulating joints, such as, for example, a first and a second adjacent vertebral bodies of the spine.
The fixation devices may be used in combination with semi tubular, one-third tubular and dynamic compression plates, both of metallic and absorbable composition, if the collar is modified to match the opening on the plate.
The cannulated design disclosed below can be fashioned to accept an antibiotic impregnated rod for the slow adsorption of medication locally. This may be beneficial for prophylaxis, especially in open wounds, or when osteomyelitis is present and stabilization of fracture fragments is indicated.
A kit may be assembled for field use by military or sport medical or paramedical personnel. This kit contains an implanting tool, and a variety of implant device size and types. The kit may include additional components such as sterilization or disinfectant materials, a skin stapler, bandages, gloves, and basic tools for emergent wound and fracture treatment. Antibiotic rods may be included for wound prophylaxis during transport.
The greater trochanter 18 extends outwardly above the junction of the neck 16 and the body 17 of the femur 10. On the medial side of the greater trochanter 18 is the trochanteric fossa 20. This depression accommodates the insertion of the obturator externus muscle. The lesser trochanter 21 is located posteromedially at the junction of the neck 16 and the body 17 of the femur 10. Both the greater trochanter 18 and the lesser trochanter 21 serve for the attachment of muscles. On the posterior surface of the femur 10 at about the same axial level as the lesser trochanter 21 is the gluteal tuberosity 22, for the insertion of the gluteus maximus muscle. Additional details of the femur are well understood in the art and not discussed in further detail herein.
In one embodiment, the body 28 comprises titanium. However, as will be described in more detail below, other metals or bioabsorbable or nonabsorbable polymeric materials may be utilized, depending upon the dimensions and desired structural integrity of the finished fixation device 12.
The distal end 32 of the body 28 is provided with a cancellous bone anchor or distal cortical bone anchor 34. Additional details of the distal bone anchor are described below. In general, in a femoral neck application, distal bone anchor 34 is adapted to be rotationally inserted into the cancellous bone within the head 14 of the femur 10, to retain the fixation device 12 within the femoral head.
The proximal end 30 of the fixation device is provided with a proximal anchor 36. Proximal anchor 36 is axially distally moveable along the body 28, to permit compression of the fracture 24 as will be apparent from
In the illustrated embodiment, proximal anchor 36 comprises a housing 38 such as a tubular body, for coaxial movement along the body 28. The housing 38 is provided with one or more surface structures 40 such as radially inwardly projecting teeth or flanges, for cooperating with complementary surface structures 42 on the body 28. The surface structures 40 and complementary surface structures 42 permit distal axial travel of the proximal anchor 36 with respect to the body 28, but resist proximal travel of the proximal anchor 36 with respect to the body 28. Any of a variety of complementary surface structures which permit one way ratchet like movement may be utilized, such as a plurality of annular rings or helical threads, ramped ratchet structures and the like for cooperating with an opposing ramped structure or pawl.
Retention structures 42 are spaced axially apart along the body 28, between a proximal limit 54 and a distal limit 56. The axial distance between proximal limit 54 and distal limit 56 is related to the desired axial working range of travel of the proximal anchor 36, and thus the range of functional sizes of the fixation device 12. In one embodiment of the fixation device 12, the retention structure 42 comprise a plurality of threads, adapted to cooperate with the retention structures 40 on the proximal anchor 36, which may be a complementary plurality of threads. In this embodiment, the proximal anchor 36 may be distally advanced along the body 28 by rotation of the proximal anchor 36 with respect to the body 28. Proximal anchor 36 may be advantageously removed from the body 28 by reverse rotation, such as to permit removal of the body 28 from the patient. In this embodiment, a flange 44 is preferably provided with a gripping structure to permit a removal tool to rotate the flange 44 with respect to the body 28. Any of a variety of gripping structures may be provided, such as one or more slots, flats, bores or the like. In one embodiment, the flange 44 is provided with a polygonal, and, in particular, a pentagonal or hexagonal circumference. See, e.g.
Thus, the present invention provides a bone fixation device which can provide compression across a fracture throughout a range of motion following the placement of the distal anchor. The distal anchor may be positioned within the cancellous and/or distal cortical bone, and the proximal anchor may be distally advanced throughout a range to provide compression across the fracture without needing to relocate the distal anchor and without needing to initially locate the distal anchor in a precise position with respect to the proximal side of the bone. Providing a working range throughout which tensioning of the proximal anchor is independent from setting the distal anchor allows a single device to be useful for a wide variety of fractures, as well as eliminates the need for accurate device measurement and accurate placement of the distal anchor. In many applications, the working range is at least about 10% of the overall length of the device, and may be as much as 20% or 30% or more of the overall device length. In the context of a femoral application, working ranges of up to about 10 mm may be provided, since estimates within that range can normally be readily accomplished within the clinical setting. In other applications, such as a metatarsal fracture, a working range in the area of from about 1 mm to about 2 mm may be all that is necessary. The embodiments disclosed herein can be scaled to have a greater or a lesser working range, as will be apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein.
The proximal anchor 36 includes a flange 44 that seats against the outer surface of the femur or tissue adjacent the femur. The flange 44 is preferably an annular flange, to optimize the footprint or contact surface area between the flange 44 and the femur. Circular or polygonal shaped flanges for use in femoral head fixation will generally have a diameter of at least about 4 mm greater than the adjacent body 28 and often within the range of from about 4 mm to about 20 mm or more greater than the adjacent body 28. In a modified embodiment, the flange 44 can be curved to match the curved shape of the femur and further optimize the footprint or contact surface area between the flange 44 and the femur.
In the illustrated embodiment, the bone contacting surface 46 of the flange 44 resides in or approximately on a plane which is inclined with respect to the longitudinal axis of the body 28. Any of a variety of angular relationships between the bone contacting surface 46 of the flange 44 and the longitudinal axis of the body 28 and housing 38 may be utilized, depending upon the anticipated entrance angle of the body 28 and associated entrance point surface of the femur 10. In general, the longitudinal axis extending through the head 14 and neck 16 of the human femur is inclined at an angle of approximately 126° from the longitudinal axis of the long body 17 of the femur 10. Angles between the longitudinal axis of body 28 and tissue contacting surface 46 within the range of from about 90° to about 140° will generally be utilized, often within the range of from about 100° to about 120°, for fixed angle fixation devices. Perpendicular flanges (i.e., 90°) are illustrated in
The clinician can be provided an array of proximal anchors 36 of varying angular relationships between the bone contacting surface 46 and the longitudinal axis of the body 28 and housing 38 (e.g., 90°, 100°, 110°, 120°, and 130°). A single body 28 can be associated with the array such as in a single sterile package. The clinician upon identifying the entrance angle of the body 28 and the associated entrance point surface orientation of the femur 10 can choose the anchor 36 from the array with the best fit angular relationship, for use with the body 28.
In accordance with an optional feature, illustrated in
As an independent feature in
With reference back to
In one embodiment, the rotational coupling 48 comprises a proximal projection of the body 28 having a polygonal cross section, such as a hexagonal cross section. The rotational coupling 48 is illustrated as a male component, machined or milled or attached to the proximal end 30 of the body 28. However, the rotational coupling may also be in the form of a female element, such as a hexagonal or other noncircular cross sectioned lumen extending throughout a proximal portion or the entire length of the body 28. Although illustrated as solid throughout, the body 28 may be cannulated to accommodate installation over a placement wire as is understood in the art. The cross section of the central cannulation can be made non circular, e.g., hexagonal, to accommodate a corresponding male tool for installation or removal of the device regardless of the location of the proximal break point, as will be discussed.
The body 28 may be provided with at least one and preferably two or three or more break points 50 spaced axially apart along the proximal portion of the body 28. Break points 50 comprise a weakened transverse plane through the body 28, which facilitate severing of the proximal portion of the body 28 following proper tensioning of the proximal anchor 36. Break point 50 may be constructed in any of a variety of ways, such as by machining or milling an annular recess into the exterior wall of the body 28, or created one or more transverse perforations through the body 28 such as by mechanical, laser, or EDM drilling.
The body 28 may also be provided with at least one and preferably two or three or moregraduation markings axially spaced along the proximal portion of the body 28. Such graduation markings can be used to indicate how far the body 28 has been inserted into the bone. Such graduation markings may include indicia indicating the distance (e.g., in millimeters or inches) from the proximal surface of the bone to the distal tip of the distal bone anchor 34.
In all of the embodiments illustrated herein, the distal anchor 34 comprises a helical locking structure 60 for engaging cancellous and/or distal cortical bone. In the illustrated embodiment, the locking structure 60 comprises a flange that is be wrapped around a central core 62 or an axial lumen, as discussed below. The central core 62 or axial lumen defines a minor diameter of the helical locking structure 60. In a similar manner, the outer edge of the helical flange 60 defines a major diameter or outer boundary of the helical locking structure 60. The flange extends through at least one and generally from about two to about 50 or more full revolutions depending upon the axial length of the distal anchor and intended application. For most femoral neck fixation devices, the flange will generally complete from about 2 to about 20 revolutions. The helical flange 60 is preferably provided with a pitch and an axial spacing to optimize the retention force within cancellous bone, to optimize compression of the fracture.
The helical flange 60 of the embodiment illustrated in
The distal end 32 and/or the outer edges of the helical flange 60 may be atraumatic (e.g., blunt or soft). This inhibits the tendency of the fixation device 12 to migrate anatomically proximally towards the hip joint bearing surface after implantation (i.e., femoral head cut-out). Distal migration is also inhibited by the dimensions and presence of the proximal anchor 36, which has a larger footprint than conventional screws.
With reference to
With reference to
Still yet another variation of the distal anchor 34 is illustrated in
For example, in an embodiment for use in the femoral neck, the pitch of the helical flanges 390, 392, 394 may be within the range of from about 2to about 12 threads per inch. The distal anchor 34 therefore requires fewer turns during insertion to achieve the same axial travel as a single helix thread having a greater pitch. In addition, this arrangement leaves more of the bone intact. In a modified arrangement, the distal anchor can include two or four helical flanges such as flanges 390, 392, 394. The number, pitch and axial spacing of the helical flanges can be optimized through routine experimentation in light of the disclosure herein. In one dual helical flange embodiment, the minor diameter is about 4.5 millimeters, the major diameter is about 7.0 millimeters and the pitch is about 5.5 threads per inch.
In any of the embodiments herein, an anti-rotation lock may be provided between the distal anchor and the proximal collar or plate, such as a spline or other interfit structure to prevent relative rotation of the proximal and distal ends of the device following implantation.
In use, the clinician first identifies a patient having a fracture to be treated, such as a femoral neck fracture, which is fixable by an internal fixation device. The clinician accesses the proximal femur, reduces the fracture if necessary and selects a bone drill and drills a hole 80 in accordance with conventional techniques. In the example of a femoral neck fracture, three holes and fixation devices will often be used as has been discussed. Preferably, the hole 80 has a diameter within the range from about 3 mm to about 8 mm. This diameter may be slightly larger than the diameter of the distal anchor 34. The hole 80 preferably extends up to or slightly beyond the fracture 24.
A fixation device 12 having an axial length and outside diameter suitable for the hole 80 is selected. The distal end 32 of the fixation device 12 is advanced distally into the hole 80 until the distal anchor 34 reaches the distal end of the hole 80. The proximal anchor 36 may be carried by the fixation device 12 prior to advancing the body 28 into the hole 80, or may be attached following placement of the body 28 within the hole 80. Once the body 28 is in place, the clinician may use any of a variety of driving devices, such as electric drills or hand tools to rotate the cancellous bone anchor 34 into the head of the femur.
While proximal traction is applied to the proximal end 30 of body 28, such as by conventional hemostats, pliers or a calibrated loading device, the proximal anchor 36 is advanced distally until the anchor 36 fits snugly against the outer surface of the femur or tissue adjacent the femur. Appropriate compression of the fixation device 12 across the fracture is accomplished by tactile feedback or through the use of a calibration device for applying a predetermined load on the implantation device. One advantage of the structure of the present invention is the ability to adjust compression independently of the setting of the distal anchor 34.
Following appropriate tensioning of the proximal anchor 36, the proximal extension 30 of the body 28 is preferably cut off, snapped off, unscrewed or otherwise removed. Body 28 may be cut using conventional saws, cutters or bone forceps which are routinely available in the clinical setting. Alternatively, the fixation device can be selected such that it is sized to length upon tensioning, so that no proximal projection remains.
Following removal of the proximal end 30 of body 28, the access site may be closed and dressed in accordance with conventional wound closure techniques.
With reference to
The barbs 41 allow the bone fixation device to capture “secondary compression” of the fracture. As explained above, the bone fixation device can be used to provide an initial compression across the fracture when the proximal anchor 36 is appropriately tensioned. However, as the patient applies weight or stress to the bone post procedure, the fracture typically undergoes secondary compression, which further compresses the fracture. During such secondary compression, the barbs 41 prevent proximal movement of the proximal anchor 36 with respect to the bone. The ratchet-type structures 40, 42 of the proximal anchor 36 and the body 28 allow the proximal anchor 36 to move distally along the body 28. Thus, any slack caused by the secondary compression is taken up by the proximal anchor 36 as the retention structures 40, 42 prevent proximal movement of the proximal anchor 36 with respect to the body 29. This device is therefore self tightening after it has been implanted in the patient.
Preferably, the clinician will have access to an array of fixation devices 12, having, for example, different diameters, axial lengths and angular relationships. These may be packaged one per package in sterile envelopes or peelable pouches, or in dispensing cartridges which may each hold a plurality of devices 12. Upon encountering a fracture for which the use of a fixation device is deemed appropriate, the clinician will assess the dimensions and load requirements, and select a fixation device from the array which meets the desired specifications.
In some types of fractures such as a femoral neck fracture, a clinician may want to introduce two or three or more fixation devices 12 into the femoral head 14 to secure the fracture 24. This may be desirable if the clinician determines that, based upon the nature of the fracture 24, there is a possibility that the head 14 of the femur 10 could rotate about a single fixation device 12. Even minor rotation can inhibit the healing of the fracture. Significant rotation can result in failure of the fixation device or necrosis of the femoral head. Two fixation devices 12 may also be desirable where the direction of the fracture is generally parallel to the axis of implantation as is understood in the art.
A contoured side plate 100 is illustrated in
The fixation device 12 of the present invention may also be used in combination with intramedullary nails or rods 101 as schematically illustrated in
The fixation device 12 of the present invention may be used in any of a wide variety of anatomical settings beside the proximal femur, as has been discussed. For example, lateral and medial malleolar fractures can be readily fixed using the device of the present invention. Referring to
A fixation device 12 in accordance with the present invention is illustrated as extending through the lateral malleolus 124 across the lateral malleolar fracture 128 and into the fibula 120. Fixation device 12 includes a distal anchor 34 for fixation within the fibula 120, an elongate body 28 and a proximal anchor 36 as has been discussed.
The fixation devices of the present invention may be made from either conventional bioabsorbable materials or conventional non-absorbable materials, combinations thereof and equivalents thereof. In addition, natural materials such as allografts may be used. Examples of absorbable materials include homopolymers and copolymers of lactide, glycolide, trimethylene carbonate, caprolactone, and p-dioxanone and blends thereof. The following two blends may be useful:
(1) the blend of poly(p-dioxanone) and a lactide/glycolide copolymer, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,646,741 which is incorporated by reference.
(2) the glycolide-rich blend of two or more polymers, one polymer being a high lactide content polymer, and the other being a high glycolide content disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,889,119 which is incorporated by reference.
Additional bioabsorbable materials are disclosed in copending application serial No. 09/558,057 filed Apr. 26, 2000, the disclosure of which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference.
The fixation devices may also be made from conventional non-absorbable, biocompatible materials including stainless steel, titanium, alloys thereof, polymers, composites and the like and equivalents thereof. In one embodiment, the distal anchor comprises a metal helix, while the body and the proximal anchor comprise a bioabsorbable material. Alternatively, the distal anchor comprises a bioabsorbable material, and the body and proximal anchor comprise either a bioabsorbable material or a non-absorbable material. As a further alternative, each of the distal anchor and the body comprise a non-absorbable material, connected by an absorbable link. This may be accomplished by providing a concentric fit between the distal anchor and the body, with a transverse absorbable pin extending therethrough. This embodiment will enable removal of the body following dissipation of the pin, while leaving the distal anchor within the bone.
The components of the invention (or a polymeric coating layer on part or all of the anchor surface), may contain one or more bioactive substances, such as antibiotics, chemotherapeutic substances, angiogenic growth factors, substances for accelerating the healing of the wound, growth hormones, antithrombogenic agents, bone growth accelerators or agents, and the like. Such bioactive implants may be desirable because they contribute to the healing of the injury in addition to providing mechanical support.
In addition, the components may be provided with any of a variety of structural modifications to accomplish various objectives, such as osteoincorporation, or more rapid or uniform absorption into the body. For example, osteoincorporation may be enhanced by providing a micropitted or otherwise textured surface on the components. Alternatively, capillary pathways may be provided throughout the body and collar, such as by manufacturing the anchor and body from an open cell foam material, which produces tortuous pathways through the device. This construction increases the surface area of the device which is exposed to body fluids, thereby generally increasing the absorption rate in a bioabsorbable construction. Capillary pathways may alternatively be provided by laser drilling or other technique, which will be understood by those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein. In general, the extent to which the anchor can be permeated by capillary pathways or open cell foam passageways may be determined by balancing the desired structural integrity of the device with the desired reabsorption time, taking into account the particular strength and absorption characteristics of the desired polymer.
One open cell bioabsorbable material is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,005,161 as a poly(hydroxy) acid in the form of an interconnecting, open-cell meshwork which duplicates the architecture of human cancellous bone from the iliac crest and possesses physical property (strength) values in excess of those demonstrated by human (mammalian) iliac crest cancellous bone. The gross structure is said to maintain physical property values at least equal to those of human, iliac crest, cancellous bone for a minimum of 90 days following implantation. The disclosure of U.S. Pat. No. 6,005,161 is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.
The components of the present invention may be sterilized by any of the well known sterilization techniques, depending on the type of material. Suitable sterilization techniques include heat sterilization, radiation sterilization, such as cobalt 60 irradiation or electron beams, ethylene oxide sterilization, and the like.
The specific dimensions of any of the bone fixation devices of the present invention can be readily varied depending upon the intended application, as will be apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein. Moreover, although the present invention has been described in terms of certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments of the invention including variations in dimensions, configuration and materials will be apparent to those of skill in the art in view of the disclosure herein. In addition, all features discussed in connection with any one embodiment herein can be readily adapted for use in other embodiments herein. The use of different terms or reference numerals for similar features in different embodiments does not imply differences other than those which may be expressly set forth. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to be described solely by reference to the appended claims, and not limited to the preferred embodiments disclosed herein.