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The use of 18-8 stainless steel wire has proved to be unsatisfactory in the fixation of skeletal parts during the course of surgical procedures. This failure is due to the crystallizing quality of this alloy. Such wire may remain intact for months, unaffected by tissue fluids, and then break into multiple fragments because of movement of the bone fragments or pressure of the adjacent soft parts. The tendency to crystallization and fracture becomes greater as the size of the wire increases. In order to overcome this defect of single wire strands, stainless steel airplane control cables have been employed. The strength and flexibility of these cables make them adaptable to many surgical problems. The tensile strength of a 1/16 in. (0.16 cm.) 7 by 7 type cable is about 470 lb. (213.2 kg.). It is constructed of seven strands, each of which is composed of seven strands of very fine
Chandler FA. REPAIR OF RUPTURED PATELLAR TENDON WITH AIRPLANE CONTROL CABLE. JAMA. 1953;153(12):1093. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940290025007