A cerclage wire is a wire which is wound during surgery around several objects (eg bony fragments) to hold them together until they heal.
When a bone is shattered - for example the tibia - the pieces are often impossible to plate and cerclage wires may offer a chance for the pieces to unite again.
In a comminuted fracture of the patella, the fragments tend to be pulled apart by the normal knee forces unless held together by one or more cerclage wires. The ruptured patellar tendon may also require cerclage wires to pull it back into the patella.
Cerclage wires may also be used in an osteotomy, eg tibial tubercle.
Possible problems with cerclage wires include -
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