Canine carpal joint fusion: A model for four-corner arthrodesis using a porous tantalum implant

Julie E. Adams, Mark E. Zobitz, John S. Reach, Kai Nan An, David G. Lewallen, Scott P. Steinmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Interest has focused on porous materials that promote bony ingrowth. In this study a porous tantalum implant was used as an adjunct to intercarpal stabilization in a canine model of wrist arthrodesis. Methods: A defect was created at the junction of the radiocarpal, ulnocarpal, and fourth carpal bones, analogous to a four-corner fusion site in humans. A tantalum cylinder was press-fit and stabilized with K-wires. Controls were represented by creating the defect without implant placement. Animals were killed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Results: Histology showed bony ingrowth as early as 4 weeks and mechanical testing showed a statistically significant increase in strength of the construct over time. Controls failed to achieve union at any time point. Conclusions: The implant served as an adjunct to stabilization of the carpus in this model of four-corner fusion, suggesting a novel application of this material in conditions in which bone graft has been required previously. This study represents a preliminary investigation of the use of a tantalum device for intercarpal stabilization; it does not compare this technique with conventional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1135
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Four-corner fusion
  • Limited wrist arthrodesis
  • Porous metal
  • Tantalum
  • Trabecular metal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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