The historical healing time for most tibial fractures remains between 24 and 28 weeks1
new CF-reinforced polyether ether ketone (CFR-PEEK) product has become available at a cost basis which is favorable in the current healthcare climate
its cost has become comparable with that of metallic implants, thus easing its access in the current economic environment
Some of the beneficial clinical attributes of CFR-PEEK implants include the ability to visualize fracture healing on orthogonal radiographs, to obtain advanced imaging with computed tomography and the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without the “scatter” seen in traditional metallic implants
An additional advantage is the ability to visualize fracture healing when needed in cases of delayed healing or nonunion injuries. Another feature of CFR-PEEK implants is the lower modulus of elasticity, enhanced fatigue strength, and their potential effect on bone healing
Metal nails are subject to fatigue failure if the bone healing takes longer than the intrinsic fatigue limits of the nail
CF technology may provide a unique alternative because of its inherent material properties of lower modulus of elasticity and enhanced fatigue strength
e found that healing occurred sooner, and in a greater percentage of patients, when CFN was used, despite those patients also having a trend toward increased fracture severity and more associated injuries
“flexible but stable” construct
The lower modulus of elasticity with the improved fatigue properties may provide a better healing environment, as corroborated with animal studies13 that demonstrated improved callus at shorter time intervals when CFR-PEEK and metal were compared
In our study, the faster healing rates were seen in patients treated with CFR-PEEK nails would seem to align with the animal studies, and we would describe the clinical findings as “better callus faster.”
se of CFR-PEEK nails may deliver the desired result of providing a modulus closer to that of bone with adequate fatigue properties to endure the loads required during the healing period.
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