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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of a computer-assisted technique for distal locking of femoral intramedullary nails Beadon, Katherine E.


The objective of this work was to design the devices and methods necessary for a computer-assisted distal locking technique for intramedullary nailing of the femur using an electromagnetic tracking system. The long-term goal of this work is to increase the efficiency and decrease the radiation exposure to the surgical team during the intramedullary nailing procedure. The accuracy of the electromagnetic system was determined to be acceptable for our application, even in the presence of the titanium implant. A distal locking tool was designed that locks into the distal locking holes from within the intramedullary nail with high repeatability. The stresses predicted from a finite element analysis of the removal process predict maximum stresses of l/500t h of the yield stress of the material. The use of this tool produces wear particles too few in number and too small in size to induce osteolysis in a patient. We conclude that the distal locking device is very likely to be successful in a surgical setting. A clinical trial was designed in order to test this hypothesis. The clinical trial has been delayed due to the establishment of new requirements at our hospital governing the introduction of custom-made research devices into a surgical setting. As a result, we have developed a set of guidelines for future researchers to facilitate completing all the required testing to obtain approval to perform a clinical trial. We are currently in the final stages of satisfying these requirements and anticipate that our clinical trial will begin in early fall.

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