Bone Reduction/Fixation Device and Method


The bone fixation device combines tension wire and bone plate methods, allowing the surgeon to simultaneously reduce and fixate the fracture, thus simplifying the procedure and reducing surgery time. The design team consists of Dr. Robert C. Wang, University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, and Dr. Mohamed Trabia, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Department of Mechanical Engineering. For comparison, current methods of mandibular fracture reduction require reducing the fracture and then fixating it by using a bone plate; typically, this requires large incisions and long surgery times. While existing reduction wire surgery can be performed by one surgeon, this procedure is limited to simple perpendicular fracture fixation and require a non-chewing diet. 

Technology Overview

The patented bone plate apparatus developed at the University of Nevada includes a flexible bone plate configured with multiple fastener openings for fixation and a channel designed to receive the reduction wire. The bone plate facilitates the reduction of a fracture by drawing together the fracture using a tension wire; it is then fastened on both sides of the fracture. The bone plate apparatus combines the benefits of the bone plate method in terms of structural support, and also achieves reduced surgery time due to incorporating the reduction wire.

Benefits and Advantages

  • Semi-rigid adjustable design allows for rapid customization

  • Rapid customisation reduces time under anaesthesia

  • A single surgeon may be able to operate the apparatus

  • Integral reduction wire eliminates the need for other tension devices

  • Support of a compression plate without the technique sensitivity

Example Method (using V-Plate Design for Mandibular Fracture)

  1. Two screws are drilled normal to the fracture lines.

  2. The center slot of the V-plate is slipped under one screw.

  3. A surgical wire is tightened around the V-plate and the opposing screw, thereby reducing the fracture

  4. Additional screws are used to fix the two ends of the V-Plate

The V-Plate design is one example; however, the patent provides for any plate design that incorporates a wire. The V-Plate design also includes adjustable arms, which allow fixation and adjustment to occur simultaneously, with fracture reduction.

Intellectual Property

UNR ID#: UNR02-013
Apparatus and Methods for Bone Fracture Reduction and Fixation
US Patent #s: 7,578,835; 7,235,077

Related Publications

The Tension Wire Method

Screw Wire Osteosynthesis for Mandibular Fractures

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
Robert Wang
Mohamed Trabia