Almost 200,000 orthopedic procedures involving metal bone plates are performed annually in the United States. These bone plates facilitate healing in fractured bones by holding the bone in place. Bone plates, however, are often oversized, which causes irritation in the surrounding soft tissue and hinders bone growth.
A new orthopedic bone plate, made of stainless steel or titanium, has been developed for securing bones during joint fusion procedures. This plate is designed for procedures with limited soft tissue coverage and avoids tissue damage caused by traditional plates. The internal side of the plate includes a T-shaped cross-sectional keel that has a thin edge for enhanced integration in the bone. The plate can withstand high levels of torsion and 3-point bends, increasing its applicability in small joint procedures. The keel plate can also be used to correct limb deformities in children.