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Nails, Wires & Pins

A broken bone, being a living tissue has a tendency to heal itself. It is, however, required that the broken bone is withheld in the right position. Nails, Wires, Pins, Staples and other orthopaedic implants are used to hold the broken bone and fix it in the correct and appropriate position. Choice of fixation depends on the nature of the fracture and the kind of bone.

Nails: Nails are the implants used in the fixation of fractures of long bones. These are metal rods, when inserted into the medullary canal, act as an immobilization device to hold the ends of the fractured bone. Different kinds of nails are designed to suit different requirements.

Wires: Wires are used in the fixation of fractures in which loading is minimal. Wires are easier to bend, so, are supplemented with other immobilization devices where necessary. Pin or wire fixation is mostly used for fractures of the Phalanges, Metacarpals, Metatarsals, Proximal Humerus and Distal Humerus.

Pins: Pins are used in fixation of fractures where minimal bone and soft tissue damage are involved. Pins provide provisional fixation leaving room for additional hardware placement. The provisional fixation is planned to avoid faulty permanent fixation. Depending on the diameter, pins may also be used as guidewires for cannulated screw fixation.

Staples: Staples are used for fragment fixation, where inter-fragmental screw fixation is difficult. These are an effective internal fixation method and are widely used in foot and ankle surgery. The staples are also used in fixation of soft tissues to bone.

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