Fracture Fixation Biomechanics and Biomaterials

  • Scott M. Tucker
  • J. Spence Reid
  • Gregory S. LewisEmail author


Surgical fracture fixation is an important part of modern orthopedic care. Implants are designed by engineers, and selected and applied by surgeons, with careful consideration of clinical, biological, biomechanical, and biomaterials principles. Clinically, a large variety of screws, plates, intramedullary nails, and external fixation devices are used. Fracture healing is a biologically complex process that may proceed down one of multiple possible pathways. Successful fracture healing, as well as implant survival, is dependent on three-dimensional biomechanics as the patient resumes activity. These biomechanics are dependent on patient variables as well as the fracture fixation construct chosen by the surgeon. Implant biomaterials must satisfy stringent biomechanical and biocompatibility requirements. Experimental and computational models enable advances in implant design, as well as our understanding of how surgeons may best apply these implants for each patient.


Fracture fixation Orthopedic biomechanics Implant mechanics Bone healing Fatigue Failure analysis Implant materials Screw fixation Biocompatibility Computational modeling Finite element method Intramedullary nail Internal plating External fixation Translational research 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the AO Foundation, Switzerland (Project S-15-196 L), and the National Science Foundation/Penn State Center for Health Organization Transformation. Hwabok Wee, PhD performed many of the finite element simulations shown in figures. We also acknowledge contribution from April D. Armstrong, MD.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott M. Tucker
    • 1
  • J. Spence Reid
    • 1
  • Gregory S. Lewis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics & RehabilitationPenn State College of MedicineHersheyUSA

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