This paper examines the mechanics of the tibiotalocalcaneal construct made with a PHILOS plating system. A failed device consisting of the LCP plate and cortical, locking, and cannulated screws was used to perform the analysis. Visual, microstructure, and fractographic examinations were carried out to characterize the fracture surface topology. These examinations revealed the presence of surface scratching, inclusions, discoloration, corrosion pits, beach marks, and cleavage and striations on the fracture surface. Further examination of the material crystallography and texture revealed an interaction of S, Ni, and Mo-based inclusions that may have raised pitting susceptibility of the device made with Stainless Steel 316L. These features suggest that the device underwent damage by pitting the corrosion-fatigue mechanism and overloading towards the end to fail the plate and screws in two or more components. The screws failed via conjoint bending and torsion fatigue mechanisms. Computer simulations of variable angle locking screws were performed in this paper. The material of construction of the device was governed by ASTM F138-8 or its ISO equivalent 5832 and exhibited inconsistencies in chemistry and hardness requirements. The failure conditions were matched in finite element modeling and those boundary conditions discussed in this paper.
Laughlin, R. T.,
& Goswami, T.
(2020). Biomechanical Behavior of a Variable Angle Locked Tibiotalocalcaneal Construct. Bioengineering, 7 (27).