Wires are used in the fixation of fractures in which loading is minimal. Wires are easier to bend, so, are supplemented with other immobilization devices where necessary. Pin or wire fixation is mostly used for fractures of the Phalanges, Metacarpals, Metatarsals, Proximal Humerus and Distal Humerus.
Pins are used in fixation of fractures where minimal bone and soft tissue damage are involved. Pins provide provisional fixation leaving room for additional hardware placement. The provisional fixation is planned to avoid faulty permanent fixation. Depending on the diameter, pins may also be used as guide wires for cannulated screw fixation.
Staples are used for fragment fixation, where inter-fragmental screw fixation is difficult. These are an effective internal fixation method and are widely used in foot and ankle surgery. The staples are also used in fixation of soft tissues to bone.