Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 849–857 | Cite as

Failure Analysis of Internal Fixation Medical Devices: Overview and Case Studies

  • Ryan P. Birringer
  • Gabriel S. Ganot
  • Brad A. James
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Internal fixation devices, and specifically bone plate and screw assemblies, are among the most common implantable medical devices that a failure analyst may encounter. These devices most often fracture by fatigue crack initiation and growth. This article discusses potential root causes of internal fixation device fractures and describes the process of metallurgical and nondestructive examination of these assemblies. Two fractured internal fixation device case studies are reviewed.


Medical devices Failure analysis Fatigue Internal fixation Bone plate 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan P. Birringer
    • 1
  • Gabriel S. Ganot
    • 1
  • Brad A. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials and Corrosion Engineering PracticeExponent, Inc.Menlo ParkUSA

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