K-Wires inserted to heal forearm fractureThe preferred medical surgical device for hand surgery, Kirschner wires also reduce fracture dislocations in the ankle joint, elbow, femur and head. Longitudinal insertion through the lumen of bones is a preferred technique for clavicle, radius, ulna and fibula. K-wires are also used as a temporary component during some surgical operations, which are removed before the operation is completed.

Operative Applications of K-Wires

  • Temporary Fixation – as a surgical necessity for holding or positioning bones or immobilization of a joint.
  • Pin Fixation – to join and hold bone fragments in position while they heal.
  • Anchor for Skeletal Traction
  • Fracture Fixation
  • Hand Fractures
  • Sacral Fractures
  • Treatment of Buerger’s Disease
  • Phalloplasty (female to male transsexual surgery)

Diverse Fracture Types (animation)

Additional Uses:

Read more about K-wire applications for Forearm Fracture Fixations.

Related Articles:

Managing the Cut End of a K-wire, by G. Vishwanath (2010)
Indian Journal of Place Surgery

K-Wire Reduction for Preliminary Fixation

As shown in the diagram below, multiple K-wires were required to stabilize the larger fragments. The wires were inserted through small incisions that had been deepened to the bone by blunt dissection. This reduces the chances of inadvertent damage to local sensory nerves and the extensor tendons. [cited from AO Foundation Distal radius 23-C3 CRIF article on K-wire Reduction for Preliminary Fixation.]

k-wire reduction in preliminary fixation

Bone Anatomy

The bone structure consists of both compact and spongy bone. This video shows the layered components, describing a complex matrix of Osteons, Lacunae, Lamellae, Canalicuii, Haversian and Perforating Canals and Trabeculae.

The three types of bone cells include: Osteoblasts (bone forming), Osteocytes (mature bone cells) and Osteoclasts (bone dissolving).