IMPeek is here
An introduction to the future
PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a bioinert polymer which has similar properties to healthy bone when filled with carbon fiber and is commonly used in orthopedic products in both veterinary and human orthopedics.
PEEK exhibits excellent mechanical properties, is autoclavable, cuttable, drillable and screwable. This gives the surgeon unique capabilities in complex fracture repair that had otherwise been unavailable.
IMPeek rods come with a blunted tip to help maintain fracture end distraction and ease insertion. IMPeek rods are designed to be used in combination with plates and screws. Compared to traditional metallic IM pins, our recommendation is to place the largest IMPeek rod possible within the medullary canal so that:
- At least 70% of the canal is filled
- Fatigue resistance and construct strength is increased
- There is increased chance of drilling through the IMPeek rod
Due to the ability to be drilled and screwed through, the surgeon never needs to worry about trying to miss the IMPeek rod - in fact it is beneficial. When an IMPeek rod is drilled through and then a screw inserted, the screw will cut a thread in the rod, creating an interlocking or 'tie in' like construct. This is particularly useful in complex scenarios like juxta-articular fractures.
Another key feature of IMPeek rods is that you do not require any special equipment to use them! Everything you need, you likely already have to be able to use IMPeek. The choice is yours - hand chucks or drills, pin cutters or saws, cortical or locking screws.
In a biomechanical study by Beierer et al (Vet Surgery, 2014), healthy tibiae were used to compare a plate-rod construct with 10 hole 3.5mm LCP in locking bridging mode with either a 6mm PEEK rod (75% medullary fill) or Steinmann pins (30-40% fill). The study found that PEEK rod constructs were significantly stiffer in compression, bending and torsion than the Steinmann pin constructs. The PEEK rod constructs were also significantly stronger, and yielded at loads ~4 times greater than the Steinmann pin constructs.
IMPeek will offer you a unique, flexible and dynamic solution to complex fractures that you wish you had yesterday.