In an open fracture, the external fixator is one of the definitive treatment options as it could provide the initial stabilisation of the fractured bone. Limited literature discussing on the biomechanical stability between unilateral, hybrid and Ilizarov configurations, principally in treating a femoral fracture. Thus, this study aims to analyse the biomechanical stability of different external fixators via the finite element method (FEM). The present study portrays that different configurations of fixators possess different biomechanical stability, hence leading to different healing rates and complication risks. For the methodology, three-dimensional models of three different external fixators were reconstructed where axial loads were applied on the proximal end of the femur, simulating the stance phase. From the results, the unilateral configuration provides better stability compared to the hybrid and Ilizarov, where it displaced the least with an average percentage difference of 50% for the fixator's frame and 23% for the bone. The unilateral configuration also produced the least interfragmentary movement (0.48 mm) as compared to hybrid (0.62 mm) and Ilizarov (0.61 mm) configurations. Besides, the strain and stress of the unilateral configuration were superior in terms of stability compared to the other two configurations. As a conclusion, the unilateral configuration had the best biomechanical stability as it was able to assist the bone healing process as well as minimising the risk of pin tract infection while treating a femoral fracture.
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