European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 153–156 | Cite as

Fixation of Kirschner wires: a comparison between hammering and drilling k-wires into ribs of pigs

  • E. B. Wassenaar
  • B. B. G. M. FranssenEmail author
  • D. B. van Egmond
  • M. Kon
Original Paper


Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation is a well-accepted method for stabilization of fractures. However, the rotary drill traditionally used for insertion leads to a considerable amount of complications (33%). Another method for insertion was tested which might possibly reduce these complications—hammering. Forty-four K-wires were inserted into the ribs of pigs using a drilling and a hammering technique. Peak extraction force, peak torque, and insertion time were measured. The mean peak extraction forces for drilling and hammering were 57.4 and 129.0 N, respectively. The mean peak torque for drilling and hammering were 2.4 and 5.7e−02 Nm, respectively. Using the drilling technique, it took 73.6 s to insert the K-wire compared with 18.4 s for hammering. At the exit site, there were splinters of bone in 18 of the 22 hammered K-wires and in 2 of the 22 drilled K-wires. This study showed that hammering K-wires into ribs of pigs gives better initial fixation and results in a shorter insertion time.


Drilling Fixation Hammering Kirschner wire 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. B. Wassenaar
    • 1
  • B. B. G. M. Franssen
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. B. van Egmond
    • 1
  • M. Kon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand SurgeryUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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