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Why and when should a locking system be used?

Osteosynthesis plaques are widely used in veterinary medicine in the correction of fractures, corrective osteotomies, oncological surgeries of limb salvage, the resolution of joint pathologies (arthrodeses), etc.

Blocked plaques represent a major innovation in the field of osteosynthesis, with great biomechanical advantages. These plates follow the biomechanical principle of the external fixators, but have more stability due to the smaller distance between the implant and the bone.

The locked plates acquire stability by rigidly fixing the screw heads to the plate holes, while the stability of the DCPs depends on the tightening of the screws to create and maintain the compression of the plate with the bone. The transmission of forces from the locked systems occurs through the screws and the plate, and not through the bone/plate interface, which is why implant rupture is more frequent with this system.

Monocortical or bicortical screws may be applied on these plates. The migration of the blocked screws is minimal, unlike the non-locked ones.

Blocked plates do not imply compression between the plates and the bone, so it’s not necessary to mold them perfectly to the bones; this facilitates their application, reduces surgery time and allows less invasive techniques. Its placement doesn’t deform the primary reduction of the fracture.

As there is no compression of the periosteum, there is no involvement of the vascularisation, which reduces infections, bone sequestration, delayed unions and non-unions.

The main indications for the blocked plates are: comminuted fractures; fractures in which one of the fragments does not allow the fixation of screws in at least five corticals; when it’s not possible to apply bicortical screws; techniques of minimal invasion; and, of course, preference of the surgeon.

Blue's locking plates are a combined type, allowing the placement of locking screws or compression screws. Thus, they may be used as locked internal fasteners, as traditional compression plates or as a combination of both. When placing locking screws, they must be perpendicular to the hole in the plate and will act as rigid internal fasteners. Usually, fewer screws are required per fragment when using locked plates, as compared to compression plates.

To place Blue Locked Plates and Screws you only need a drill, a locking guide and a stardrive screwdriver.

Send us your questions to info@blueveterinary.com.