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Biomechanical stability of posterior tibial plateau fractures – a translational study
Belgium (BeMSA) - KU Leuven, Leuven
Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Department of Trauma Surgery
Prof. Dr S. Nijs
Prof. Harm Hoekstra
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Posterior tibial plateau fractures (TPF) have a serious impact on functional outcome and quality of life. TPF comprise 1% of all fractures. Treatment goals include anatomical reduction of the articular surface, satisfactory restoration of the alignment, and stable fixation that allows an early mobilization of the knee. The question remains who will benefit from posterior plate osteosynthesis as a treatment and who will not. We aim to establish a fracture model for posterior TPF wherein human cadavers, (i.e. tibial component) are used in order to provide an answer to this research question. The study will start medio 2020 in collaboration with the department of biomechanical engineering of the KU Leuven.
What is the aim of the project?
We aim to establish a fracture model for TPF wherein human specimen, including the tibial component in order to provide an answer to our research question.
What techniques and methods are used?
Biomechanical setup of a fracture model with numerous assessments: surface measurements using computer tomography-scan and a surface scan, displacement measurements after fracturing and linear cyclic loading resp. The cyclic loading will happen by gradually increasing the load (in newton) and the number of cycles. Measurement of depression of the tibial plateau will be done using a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera and digital image correlation in order to properly track the displacement field. Finally, we will perform data analysis: By using the data received by using the CCD camera and the digital image correlation program we will search for how much load that was necessary to provoke a fracture, if the osteosynthesis with posterior plate was able to resist a higher load and how much load resulted in a failure of the treatment (failure of the plate to stabilize/immobilize the fracture). No sample size calculation is performed. For the study, we will use the maximal amount of available cadaveric specimen. Statistical testing will be performed using the paired t-test and paired ANOVA. Results with a P-value less than, or equal to 0.05 will be considered as significant.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be highly involved in the basic laboratory work under supervision. For example: surface measurements and displacement measurements on biochemical setup of a fracture model, both before and after cyclic loading. Besides basic lab work, the student will also be involved in data processing (visualization in plots, …) of the measurement data collected from the experiments. Statistical testing will be performed using the paired t-test and paired ANOVA. Results with a P-value less than or equal to 0.05 will be considered as significant. Based on the student’s abilities he/she can generate output (to some extent) which can be used for the final paper.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Of course. Clinical background will be provided as well as discussion on the future of the project. This will be done by the daily supervisor. Student can also choose to attend conferences and lectures but these are very rare during the summer months.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Enthusiasm and engagement. Preferably the student should read up on the theoretical background with regard to the treatment concepts of (posterior) tibial plateau fractures.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months) - Students in biomedical fields
- Van den Berg; J.; Nijs; S.; & Hoekstra; H. (2019). Limited value of the column concept in the operative management of posterior column tibial plateau fractures. European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery; 1-8
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