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01-12-2009 | Research | Uitgave 1/2009 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2009

Mechanical characteristics of three staples commonly used in foot surgery

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2009
Ulfin Rethnam, Jan Kuiper, Nilesh Makwana
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-2-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

UR the main author for the manuscript and was involved in specimen preparation, conducting the study, data acquisition and preparation of the manuscript. JK was involved in setting up of equipment, data analysis, interpretation of data and preparation of the manuscript. NM the senior author was involved in conception and design of the study. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



Bone staples are an accepted method of fixation in foot surgery. They reduce operating time and trauma in surgical procedures. A variety of memory staples are available but their properties compared to standard staples are not known. We carried out a study comparing two popular types of memory staples and a standard stainless steel staple.


Standardized bone models of metatarsals made from Tufnol tubes were osteotomized and stabilised using one of three types of bone staples, two types of memory staple (Memory staple and heat-activated Memoclip) or a standard stainless steel staple (Richards). Constructs were loaded in bending and torsion on a material testing machine. The moment and torque to achieve 10 degree of bending or torsion and permanent angulation of the osteotomized bones were assessed.


The Richards staple was found to provide a four times larger resistance to bending and torsion than the two memory staples. However, it was permanently deformed after bending. The Memory and Memoclip staples were equal in their stiffness. In addition, angulation of bones fixed with the Memoclip was elastic, preventing any permanent deformation.


The Richards staple was stiffer, although the permanent deformation of this staple is a disadvantage. Memoclip staples exhibit lower but adequate stiffnesss when compared to the standard Richards staple and are not permanently deformed after bending. The Memoclip staples were easier to handle. The results will enable surgeons to determine the optimal staple for foot and ankle procedures.

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