A century ago, in 1909, Martin Kirschner (1879-1942) introduced a smooth pin, presently known as the Kirschner wire (K-wire). The K-wire was initially used for skeletal traction and is now currently used for many different goals. The development of the K-wire and its insertion devices were mainly influenced by the change in operative goals and by the introduction of antibiotics. The first versions of the Kirschner wire were hammered through a predrilled hole into the bone, but later on drilling became the standard technique of insertion. Drilling is considered a simple way of implanting, with many advantages, such as percutaneous and atraumatic insertion. However, this technique also has its disadvantages like temperature elevation, resulting in osteonecrosis and heat-related complications. Despite these complications the K-wire is now standard for the treatment of hand fractures, worldwide.
|Acta orthopaedica Belgica
|Published - 1 Jan 2010