The optimal degree of rigidity of internal fixation of fractures is still a matter of controversy. Since any attempt to clarify this situation must rest on a clear terminology, we propose terms relating to different degrees of rigidity. They are based on the material and the design of implants as well as the morphologic features of repair. From our morphologic findings it is obvious that the healing response and the subsequent structural remodelling depend on bone deformation and gap motion. Clinical significance: For sound patient care, the most ideal mode of internal fixation by plates, yielding rapid and efficient fracture healing, has to be established scientifically in a comparative study.
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