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Title:
CONICAL END CAP FOR INTRAMEDULLARY NAIL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/000784
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An end cap is provided comprising a head with a tool engagement portion and a shaft with a tip, wherein the shaft comprises a threaded conical portion starting from the tip and extending in a direction to the head. The thread may be provided with a constant pitch, i.e. with a constant distance between the turns of the thread. (Figure 3b)

Inventors:
WIELAND, Manfred (Berchtesgadenerstr. 24, Kiel, 24146, DE)
Application Number:
EP2014/064232
Publication Date:
January 07, 2016
Filing Date:
July 03, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STRYKER TRAUMA GMBH (Prof.-Küntscher-Str. 1-5, Schönkirchen / Kiel, 24232, DE)
International Classes:
A61B17/72; A61B17/68; A61B17/86; F16B35/00
Foreign References:
US6508820B22003-01-21
US4167355A1979-09-11
DE20316200U12003-12-18
DE102004034246A12006-02-16
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAIWALD PATENTANWALTS GMBH (SCHMITZ, AlexanderElisenho, Elisenstr. 3 München, 80335, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An end cap (200, 300) for use with an intramedullary nail, comprising

a head portion (210, 310) with a tool engagement portion (212, 312) and a shaft with a tip (240, 340),

wherein the shaft comprises a conical portion (220, 320) starting from the tip and extending in a direction to the head portion,

wherein a thread (270, 370) with a constant pitch (270, 370) is provided on the conical portion.

2. The end cap (200, 300) of claim 1, wherein the threaded portion of the shaft comprises a sub-portion with a first circumferential section (360) without thread and a second circumferential section (362) with thread, wherein the first circumferential section has an outer diameter corresponding to a minor diameter of the thread and extends on at least a third of the circumference of the sub-portion.

3. The end cap (200) of claim 1 or 2, wherein the thread (270) comprises a thread profile defining a bisecting line (274) between two adjacent tooth flanks (272), wherein the bisecting line of the thread profile is perpendicular to the surface (222) of the conical portion (220).

4. The end cap (300) of claim 1 or 2, wherein the thread (370) comprises a thread profile defining a bisecting line (374) between two adjacent tooth flanks (372), wherein the bisecting line of the thread profile is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis (316) of the end cap.

5. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the conical portion defines an angle (224, 324) of between 8° and 12° to a longitudinal axis (216, 316) of the end cap.

6. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the thread has a maximal diameter adjacent to the head portion (310), which diameter corresponds to a nominal diameter of an inner thread (510) of a bone nail (500). 7. The end cap (300) of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the shaft further comprises a cylindrical sub-portion (350) starting from the conical portion (320) and extending in a direction to the head portion (310), wherein the thread (370) continues with a constant diameter on the cylindrical sub-portion. 8. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the thread has a minimal diameter adjacent to the tip (240, 340), which minimal diameter corresponds to half of a nominal diameter of an inner thread of a bone nail.

9. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the tip (240, 340) has rounded edges.

10. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein a clearance groove 230, 330) is provided on the shaft adjacent the head portion (210, 310) of the end cap. 11. The end cap (200, 300) of claim 10, wherein a chamfer (232, 332) is provided as a transition between the clearance groove and the head portion.

12. The end cap (200, 300) of any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the tool engagement portion (212, 312) is an inner tool engagement portion.

13. An end cap (200, 300) for use with an intramedullary nail, comprising

a head portion (210, 310) with a tool engagement portion (212, 312) and a shaft with a tip (240, 340), wherein the shaft comprises a conical portion (220, 320) starting from the tip and extending in a direction to the head portion,

wherein a thread (270, 370) with a constant pitch (270, 370) is provided on the conical portion, wherein a circumferential section (360) without thread is formed in a sub-portion including the maximum diameter of the thread, wherein the circumferential section has an outer diameter corresponding to a minor diameter of the thread and extends on at least a third of the circumference of the sub-portion.

14. The end cap (300) of claim 13, wherein the shaft further comprises a cylindrical sub-portion (350) starting from the conical portion (320) and extending in a direction to the head portion (310), wherein the thread (370) continues with a constant diameter on the cylindrical sub-portion with the maximum diameter of the thread.

15. The end cap (200, 300) of claim 13 or 14, wherein the conical portion defines an angle (224, 324) of between 8° and 12° to a longitudinal axis (216, 316) of the end cap.

16. A system comprising

an end cap (200, 300) of claim 1 or 13,

a locking screw, and

a bone nail (500) with an inner thread (510) for receiving the end cap and a transverse bore (520) for receiving the locking screw. 17. The system of claim 16, wherein the end cap is configured to be in contact with an outer surface of the locking screw when the locking screw is inserted in the transverse bore of the bone nail and the end cap is inserted into the inner thread of the bone nail.

Description:
CONICAL END CAP FOR INTRAMEDULLARY NAIL

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to an implant. In particular, the invention relates to an end cap for use with an intramedullary nail.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION An implant and particularly a bone implant include a portion or section or end which is adapted to be firstly introduced into a body during an implantation. Such a portion or section or end is usually referred to as leading portion or leading section or leading end. Consequently, an opposite portion or section or end of the implant is adapted to be finally introduced, wherein this portion or section or end may additionally be configured for an engagement of a tool for inserting the implant into the body. Such a portion or section or end is usually referred to as trailing portion or trailing section or trailing end.

A bone implant may be a pin or a nail or screw. A bone nail may be an intramedullary nail, for example a femur nail, a humerus nail or a tibia nail. A bone screw may be a screw for fixing fragments of a bone fracture or may be a locking screw for locking a bone nail in the bone. However, due to the anatomical variation of bones it may happen that the trailing end of a bone implant sticks out of a bone after implant placement. The trailing end of the implant may act as an interface towards a target or aiming device. In order to create a solid fixation nails may be provided with grooves in order to fit pegs on the post of the target device for accurate alignment, for sufficient fixation, and for controlling the forces applied during implant insertion and removal.

It may occur that patients complain about pain after surgery in this area, especially when the implant is sticking out of the bone. This pain may be caused by sharp edges at the trailing end of the implant. Such edges may cause irritations and/or injuries of the surrounding soft tissue.

On the other hand, the trailing end of a bone nail may be arranged within a bone, i.e. under a bone surface, after an implantation. In such case, bone tissue may grow over the trailing edges of the bone nail resulting in difficulties to explant the bone nail after healing of a treated bone fracture.

To reduce these problems, an end cap in form of a small screw may be inserted into the trailing end of the implant, with the screw having a screw head with a length and smooth and rounded edges.

However, it may be difficult to align the screw axis to an axis of an inner thread in the trailing end of the implant when introducing such a small screw into an implant which is already inserted into a bone and an axis of which is thus not clearly recognizable, i.e. visible, as can be seen in figure 9. Consequently, a small screw as an end cap may easily tilt during insertion. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object may be defined as providing an end cap for an implant, wherein an introduction of the end cap into a trailing end of an implant is facilitated.

This is achieved by the end cap according to the independent claim. Further

embodiments are described in the dependent claims.

In general, an end cap comprises a head with a tool engagement portion and a shaft with a tip, wherein the shaft comprises a threaded conical portion starting from the tip and extending in a direction to the head. The thread may be provided with a constant pitch, i.e. with a constant distance between the turns of the thread. In other words, the distance between each of two adjacent turns of the thread is the same, when measured in a longitudinal direction of the end cap.

According to an embodiment, the thread at the shaft of the end cap may comprise a thread profile defining a centre axis between two adjacent tooth flanks, wherein the centre axis of the thread profile is perpendicular to the surface of the conical portion. Alternatively, the centre axis of the thread profile may be perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the conical portion. It will be understood that the centre axis of the thread profile may also be in the middle or at any other angle between the mentioned alternative centre axes.

According to an embodiment, the conical portion of the shaft of the end cap defines an angle of between 8° and 12° to a longitudinal axis of the end cap. For example, the conical portion may define an angle of 10° to the longitudinal axis.

In general, a thread may be described by a major diameter and a minor diameter. The major diameter of a thread is the larger of two extreme diameters delimiting the height of the thread profile, as a cross-sectional view is taken in a plane containing the axis of the threads. The minor diameter is the lower extreme diameter of the thread. Major diameter minus minor diameter, divided by two, equals the height of the thread. It will be understood that a nominal diameter of an outer thread will actually differ from the major diameter of the thread to provide a clearance between the outer thread and a corresponding inner thread. Without such a clearance, the threads would not be able to move relative to each other.

According to an embodiment, the thread at the shaft of the end cap may have a maximal outer diameter, i.e. a maximal major diameter adjacent to the head, which diameter corresponds to a nominal diameter of an inner thread of an implant. For example, the maximal major diameter of the thread may be 8mm. A screw with an outer diameter of 8mm should fit into an inner thread with a nominal diameter of 8mm, i.e. with a maximal inner diameter of the inner thread of slightly more than 8mm, i.e. of for example 8.1mm. It is noted that the thread at the conical portion may have at least one turn adjacent the head of the end cap with the maximal outer diameter.

According to an embodiment, the shaft may further comprise a cylindrical portion starting from the conical portion and extending in a direction to the head, wherein the thread continues with a constant diameter on the cylindrical portion. That is, the thread according to this embodiment may have more than one turn of the thread with the maximal outer diameter.

According to an embodiment, the threaded portion of the shaft may comprise a sub- portion with a first circumferential section without threads and a second circumferential section with threads. The first circumferential section may have an outer diameter corresponding to a minor diameter of the thread. The first circumferential section may extend on at least a third of the circumference of the sub-portion. A smooth transition may be provided in a circumferential direction between the first and second

circumferential sections. According to an embodiment, the thread may have a minimal diameter adjacent to the tip, which minimal diameter may for example be half of the maximal diameter. The tip may have rounded edges. The tip may have a part-spherical shape. Further, the tip may have a blunt end with rounded edges as smooth transition to the first turn of the thread.

According to an embodiment, a clearance groove may be provided on the shaft adjacent the head of the end cap, i.e. between the thread and the head. In the clearance groove, a chamfer may be provided as a transition between the root of the clearance groove and a radially outwardly extending surface of the head.

According to an embodiment, a system may be provided comprising an end cap as described above and a bone nail as well as an aiming or targeting device for assisting an introduction of a locking screw and/or a driving tool for manipulating the bone nail during an implantation of the same.

An exemplary bone nail may be an intramedullary nail comprising a through bore for receiving a locking screw, the through bore extending through the shaft of the bone nail in a direction transverse and possibly also inclined relative to a longitudinal axis of the shaft. The intramedullary nail may further comprise a bore formed at least in the trailing end section of the nail, with the bore extending in a longitudinal direction of the shaft of the nail, the longitudinal bore including an inner thread for releasably fixing a medical device like a driving tool for manipulating the implant during an implantation or like a targeting device, wherein the inner thread is also adapted to receive an end cap in accordance with the invention.

When used with an intramedullary nail, the end cap may further be configured to be a fixation means for a locking screw. The tip of the end cap may be in contact with an outer surface of the shaft of the locking screw within a bone nail, when being inserted into a trailing end of a bone nail. Thus, the end cap allows reducing any pain which may be caused by sharp edges at the trailing end of the implant and preventing any movement of a locking screw relative to the bone nail.

It has to be noted that a person skilled in the art will gather from the above and the following description that, unless otherwise notified, in addition to any combination of features belonging to one embodiment, also any combination of features relating to another embodiment is considered to be disclosed with this application.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments, when taken in conjunction with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will now be detailed by way of exemplary embodiments with reference to the attached drawings.

Figure 1 shows an end cap according to the prior art.

Figures 2a- 2d show a sequence illustrating an introduction of the prior art end cap of figure 1 into a threaded trailing end of a bone nail.

Figures 3a and 3b show an end cap according to a first embodiment.

Figure 4 is a section view of the end cap of figures 3a, 3b including a detailed view of the thread.

Figures 5a-5d show a sequence illustrating an introduction of an end cap of figures 3a, 3b, 4 into a trailing end of a bone nail.

Figures 6a and 6b show an end cap according to a second embodiment.

Figure 7 is a section view of the end cap of figures 6a, 6b including a detailed view of the thread.

Figures 8a-8d show a sequence illustrating an introduction of an end cap of figures 6a, 6b, 7 into a trailing end of a bone nail. Figure 9 is an image of an end cap introduction during surgery.

It is noted that the illustration in the drawings is only schematically and not to scale. Throughout the drawings, the same reference numerals and characters, unless otherwise stated, are used to denote like features, elements, components, or portions of the illustrated embodiments. Moreover, while the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the figures, it is done so in connection with the illustrative embodiments and is not limited by the particular embodiments illustrated in the figures, as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Figure 1 shows an end cap in accordance with the prior art. The end cap 100 comprises a head 110, a conical tip portion, a cylindrical portion 150 with an outer thread and an intermediate portion 130. A clearance groove 131 is provided between the thread portion 150 and intermediate portion 130 forming a shoulder 132. The conical tip portion 120 is formed with a smooth outer surface and a rounded tip.

In the sequence of figures 2a- 2d, an introduction of an end cap of figure 1 is illustrated. In figure 2a, the end cap 100 is tilted relative to the axis of the inner thread 410 in the bone nail 400. Such an angled introduction may particularly occur as the introduction of the end cap is performed more or less blindly, keeping in mind that the bone nail is already introduced into a bone (not shown) and the actual orientation of the axis of the bone nail is not recognizable. As indicated with the circle denoted with X, the front end 120 of the end cap will abut the first turn of the inner thread 410, impeding the introduction of end cap 100.

Before the outer threads of the end cap engage with the inner threads 410 of the bone nail 400, shoulder 132 at the intermediate section created by the clearance groove may further hinder an introduction of the end cap 100, as indicated by the circle denoted with X in figure 2c.

In figures 3a and 3b, an end cap 200 according to a first embodiment is shown, with figure 3a being a view onto the tip 240 of the end cap 200, i.e. with a viewing direction from the bottom to the top of figure 3b.

The end cap 200 comprises a head 210, a conical portion 220, a clearance groove 230 as well as a tip 240. In this embodiment, the conical portion 220 is completely formed with a thread at the outer surface thereof. As a transition between the clearance groove 230 and the head 210, a chamfer 232 is provided.

As shown in figure 4, the head portion 210 of the end cap 200 comprises an inner tool engagement portion 212 as well as rounded edges 214. The conical portion may be described by an outer surface 222 which is inclined by an angle 224 relative to a longitudinally extending central axis 216 of the end cap 200. Threads 270 are cut into the outer surface 222.

Detail A is an enlarged view of the threads 270. In this embodiment, the threads are cut into the outer surface 222 of the conical portion so as to form two flanks 272. Between the flanks 272, a bisecting line 274 can be defined which is orientated perpendicularly to the outer surface 222. The threads 270 comprise a pitch 276, i.e. a distance between two turns of the threads, which is constant over the length of the threads. An introduction of an end cap 200 into a trailing end of a bone nail 500 is illustrated by the sequence shown in figures 5a-5d. Assuming that the end cap 200 will be initially inserted into the trailing end of the bone nail 500 in a tilted direction or orientation, as shown in figure 5a, the threads on the conical portion of the end cap 200 will engage an edge at the trailing end of the bone nail 500 and/or the first turns of the threads 510 within a bore 512 in the bone nail 500, as indicated by the circle denoted with Y. The conical thread 270 allows screwing in the end cap 200 into the inner threads 510, although the axis 216 of the end cap 200 is inclined relative to the central axis of the bore 512 of bone nail 500, as shown in figure 5c. The axis 216 of the end cap 200 will be aligned automatically with the axis of bore 512 of the bone nail 500 by the chamfer 232 provided beneath the head 210 of the end cap, as indicated by the circle denoted with Z in figure 5c. Finally, the axis 216 of the end cap will be aligned with the axis of the bore 512 and at least the turn of the outer thread with the maximum diameter will engage the inner threads 510 in the bone nail trailing end. As shown in figure 5d, the end cap 200 may have a length along axis 216 which corresponds to the distance between the trailing end and a first transverse through bore 520 in the bone nail 500. Therefore, the end cap 200 may be configured to be in contact with an outer surface of a locking screw (not shown), when the locking screw is inserted through the through bore 520 and the end cap is completely introduced into the trailing end of the bone nail 500, thus fixing the locking screw within the through bore.

In figures 6a and 6b, an end cap 300 according to a second embodiment is shown, with figure 6a being a view onto the tip 340 of the end cap 300. The end cap 300 comprises a head 310, a conical portion 320, a clearance groove 330 as well as a tip 340, with the conical portion 320 being completely formed with a thread at the outer surface thereof. The end cap 300 further comprises a sub-portion 350. The threads on the conical portion 320 continue over the sub-portion 350, wherein the sub- portion 350 is cylindrically formed, thus having threads with a constant diameter.

Furthermore, the sub-portion includes a first circumferential section 360 without threads and a second circumferential section 362 with threads.

As shown in figure 7 which is a section view along the section plane C-C as indicated in figure 6a, the head portion 310 of the end cap 300 comprises an inner tool engagement portion 312 as well as rounded edges 314. The conical portion may be described by an outer surface 322 which is inclined by an angle 324 relative to a longitudinally extending central axis 316 of the end cap 300.

Threads 370 of the end cap 300 may be generated by firstly cutting threads continuously into the outer surface of the conical portion 320 and into the outer surface of the sub- portion 350, and then removing the threads in the first circumferential section 360 by reducing the outer diameter in this section.

For example, the circumferential section 360 may form 50% of the circumference of the shaft portion and 80% to 100% of the threads may be removed in this section by machining, like for example by grinding or milling. When machining the threads, the shaft may be moved linearly from a side to a machining tool, may then be rotated for 180° about its axis, and may then be moved linearly again and sidewardly away from the machining tool. By way of such process, a circumferential section 360 with two opposite transition sections 364 may be formed, as shown in figure 6a, with the transition sections 364 forming a smooth transition from the first circumferential section 360 without threads to the second circumferential section 362 with threads.

Detail B is an enlarged view of the threads 370. In this embodiment, the threads are cut into the outer surface 322 of the conical portion so as to form two flanks 372, between which a bisecting line 374 can be defined which is orientated perpendicularly to the axis 316 of the end cap 300. The threads 370 comprise a pitch 376 which is constant over the length of the threads. An introduction of an end cap 300 into a trailing end of a bone nail 500 is illustrated by the sequence shown in figures 8a-8d. Also here, assuming that the end cap 300 will be initially inserted into the trailing end of the bone nail 500 in a tilted orientation, as shown in figure 8a, the threads 370 on the conical portion of the end cap 300 will engage at least an edge at the trailing end of the bone nail 500 and/or the first turns of the threads 510 within the bore 512 of bone nail 500. The conical thread 370 allows screwing in the end cap 300 into the inner threads 510, although the axis 316 of the end cap 300 is inclined relative to the axis of the bone nail 500, as shown in figures 8b and 8c. The axis of the end cap 300 will be aligned automatically with the central axis of the bore 512 of the bone nail 500 when screwing in the end cap.

As soon as the end cap 300 is completely introduced into the bone nail 500, the turns of the outer thread at the second circumferential section 362 of the sub-portion 350 will engage the inner threads 510 in the bone nail and the axis 316 of the end cap will finally be aligned with the central axis of bore 512 of the bone nail.

As long as the end cap axis 316 is not aligned with the axis of the bone nail, while screwing in the end cap 300, the first circumferential section 360 without threads will prevent any clamping of the threads. With regard to end cap 200 or 300, the diameter of the threads 270, 370 at the conical portion of the end cap 200, 300 is smaller than the diameter of the inner threads 510 in the bone nail 500, and with regard to end cap 300, the thread 370 is provided in a cylindrical portion of the shaft only on one side, so as to avoid an asynchronic engagement of threads on opposite sides, i.e. to avoid for example an engagement of one turn of the outer thread into two different turns of the inner thread on opposite sides.

Figure 9 is an image showing circumstances under which a surgeon may insert an end cap 100, 200, 300 into a trailing end of a bone nail 400, 500. With the end cap at the end of the tool 600, the end cap 100, 200, 300 may be inserted into the trailing end of the bone nail, wherein only a small part of the bone as well as of the bone nail is visible so that the actual orientation of the axis of the bone nail 400, 500 cannot be seen.

Furthermore, the insertion of the end cap 100, 200, 300 is difficult as the surrounding soft tissue provides less space to manipulate the tool 600. The invention proposes an end cap an insertion of which is facilitated. While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, such illustration and description are to be considered illustrative or exemplary and not restrictive. The invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. Other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practising the claimed invention, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims.

In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other elements, and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality.

The mere fact that the certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope.

LIST OF REFERENCE SIGNS

100 end cap

110 head

120 cone

130 intermediate portion

131 clearance groove

132 shoulder

150 threaded portion

200, 300 end cap

210, 310 head portion

212, 312 inner tool engagement portion

214, 314 rounded edges

216, 316 centre axis

220, 320 conical portion 222, 322 outer surface

224, 324 cone angle

232, 332 chamfer

240, 340 tip

350 sub-portion

360 first circumferential section

362 second circumferential section

364 transition section

270, 370 threads

272, 372 flanks

274, 374 bisecting line

276, 376 pitch

400, 500 bone nail

410, 510 inner threads

512 longitudinal bore

520 through bore

600 tool