Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate cyclic fatigue behaviour of a new pin with a thread run-out design in comparison with three other types of pins commonly used for equine transfixation pin casting.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-four pairs of equine cadaveric third metacarpal bones (MC3) equipped with one transfixation pin placed horizontally in the distal metaphysis were tested using a simplified model, mimicking the biomechanical situation of equine transfixation pin casting. A 6.3/8.0-mm Imex Duraface pin with thread run-out design (ITROP) was compared with a 6.1-mm smooth Steinmann pin (SSP), a Securos 6.2-mm, positive-profile pin (SPPP) and an Imex 6.3-mm, positive-profile pin (IPPP) under cyclic loading until failure in axial compression of MC3.
Results: All pins broke at clinically relevant load levels and cycle numbers. The SSP endured significantly (p = 0.0025) more cycles before failure (mean: 48685) than the ITROP (mean 25889). No significant differences in cycles to failure were observed comparing the SPPP versus ITROP, and the IPPP versus ITROP, respectively.
Clinical Significance: A thread run-out design does not necessarily lead to higher resistance against pin breakage under cyclic loading conditions. The SSP was most resistant against cyclic failure in these testing conditions, even though it was associated with more lateromedial displacement and cortical wear-out. This could outweigh reported disadvantages of the SSP such as reduced resistance to axial extraction and pin loosening.