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Both rods in a Harrington rod cervical stent failed after a short time in service. Metallurgical analysis revealed a significant number of notches as well as enlarged grain size in one of the two rods, rough shallow-cracked surfaces along the bend profiles, possible signs of corrosion, and fractures (on both rods) near indentations imparted by retaining clamps. The observations suggest that surface roughness and bending defects initiated cracking that led to the fatigue failure of the compromised rod, followed some time later by the overload fracture of the second rod.

Superelastic nitinol wires that fractured under various conditions...

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