Biomechanical Comparison of Two Headless Compression Screws for Scaphoid Fixation


This study compared compression generation between two headless compression screws: the Synthes 3.0-mm and the Acutrak standard. Twenty scaphoids were harvested from 10 pairs of fresh cadaveric forearms. A washer-shaped load cell was inserted between the halves of each scaphoid created by a simulated fracture via osteotomy. One scaphoid of each pair was tested with the Synthes and the other with the Acutrak. Parameters of interest were peak screw torque and fracture site compression. Differences in parameters of interest were checked for significance (p < .05) with paired t tests. No significant differences were shown in mean (š standard deviation) peak torque (57 š 28 Ncm vs. 55 š 32 Ncm; p < .84), compression immediately after insertion (119 š 54 N vs. 91 š 37 N; p < .15), or compression 5 min after insertion (32 š 30 N vs. 38 š 24 N; p < .61) between the Synthes and Acutrak screw fixations, respectively. The choice between these two screws to stabilize scaphoid waist fractures should be based on parameters other than compression generation, such as size, availability, cost, and ease of use of the implant. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 18(4):182–188, 2009)

Raymond A. Pensy, MD, Andrew M. Richards, BSc, MRCS, Stephen M. Belkoff, PhD,
Kurt Mentzer, MD, and W. Andrew Eglseder, MD