Biomechanical analysis of tension band fixation for olecranon fracture treatment.

S. H. Kozin, L. J. Berglund, W. P. Cooney, B. F. Morrey, K. N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This study assessed the strength of various tension band fixation methods with wire and cable applied to simulated olecranon fractures to compare stability and potential failure or complications between the two. Transverse olecranon fractures were simulated by osteotomy. The fracture was anatomically reduced, and various tension band fixation techniques were applied with monofilament wire or multifilament cable. With a material testing machine load displacement curves were obtained and statistical relevance determined by analysis of variance. Two loading modes were tested: loading on the posterior surface of olecranon to simulate triceps pull and loading on the anterior olecranon tip to recreate a potential compressive loading on the fragment during the resistive flexion. All fixation methods were more resistant to posterior loading than to an anterior load. Individual comparative analysis for various loading conditions concluded that tension band fixation is more resilient to tensile forces exerted by the triceps than compressive forces on the anterior olecranon tip. Neither wire passage anterior to the K-wires nor the multifilament cable provided statistically significant increased stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons ... [et al.]
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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