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1. (WO2009058969) VARIABLE ANGLE LOCKED BONE PLATE
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What is claimed is:

1. A plate for fixation to a target portion of bone to be treated, comprising:

a first fixation element receiving opening extending therethrough from a proximal surface which, when the plate is coupled to the target portion of bone in a desired
configuration, faces away from the bone to a distal surface which, when in the desired configuration, faces the bone, the first fixation element receiving opening including:

a plurality of columns distributed about a circumference thereof, each of
the columns extending from the proximal to the distal surface;

a plurality of radially expanded sections separating adjacent ones of the
columns from one another; and

a plurality of projections formed on the columns, the projections extending from surfaces of the columns along portions of a path extending helically about an inner surface of the first fixation element receiving opening, shapes of the surfaces of the columns on which the projections are formed being selected so that, when engaged by a head of a bone fixation element to be locked into the first fixation
element receiving opening, the projections engage a thread of a head of the bone fixation element to lock the bone fixation element in the first fixation element
receiving opening at any user selected angle within a permitted range of
angulation.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the first fixation element receiving opening is sized and shaped to lock therein a bone fixation element at a desired angle with respect to a central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening, the projections being separated along the central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening by a distance corresponding to a pitch of a helical thread on a head of the bone fixation element so that a portion of the projections threadingly engage the helical thread of the head of the bone fixation element.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein each of the columns includes a first portion tapering
radially inward from the proximal surface to a deflection point within the first fixation element receiving opening, each of the columns including a second portion tapering
radially outward from the deflection point to the distal surface so that a cross-sectional area of the first fixation element receiving opening is smaller at the deflection point than at the proximal and distal surfaces.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein a first one of the radially expanded sections is formed as substantially cylindrical lumen extending substantially parallel to the central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein cross-sections of portions of the first fixation element receiving opening formed by the columns in planes perpendicular to the central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening are substantially circular and wherein the first radially expanded section extends radially beyond a diameter of the portions of the first fixation element receiving opening at the proximal and distal surfaces.

6. The device of claim I5 wherein the shape of the surfaces of the columns on which the projections are formed is formed to threadedly engage a thread formed on a substantially conical head of a bone fixation element to be locked into the first fixation element
receiving opening at a user selected angle within the permitted range of angulation.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein the shape of the surfaces of the columns on which the projections are formed curves in a plane parallel to the central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening so that angles of tangents to the curves adjacent to the proximal surface with respect to the central axis of the central first fixation element
receiving opening are equal to a maximum desired angulation of a bone fixation element to be locked in the first fixation element receiving opening plus a taper angle of a conical head of the bone fixation element.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein the tangents to the curves adjacent to the proximal surface ranges from 25° to 35°.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein the range of angulation of a bone fixation element to be locked in the first fixation element receiving opening is from 0° to 45°.

10. The device of claim 7, wherein each of the projections extends outward from the surface of the corresponding column substantially perpendicular thereto.

1 1. The device of claim 7, wherein each of the projections extends outward from the surface of the corresponding column substantially perpendicular to the central axis of the first fixation element receiving opening.

12. The device of claim 7, wherein an angle of a tangent of a curvature of a proximal portion of each column is a sum of a maximum angular offset of a bone fixation element to be locked into the first fixation element receiving opening and a taper angle of a conical head of the bone fixation element.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein an angle of a tangent of a curvature of a distal portion of each column is a difference between the maximum angular offset of a bone fixation
element to be locked into the first fixation element receiving opening and the taper angle of the conical head of the bone fixation element.

14. The device of claim 1, wherein the columns are distributed about the circumference of the first fixation element receiving opening equidistant from one another.

15. A method, comprising:

positioning a plate over a target portion of bone to be treated, the plate; and

inserting a fixation element into the bone via an opening extending through the plate at a user selected angle relative to a central axis of the opening, the opening
including a plurality of columns distributed about a circumference of the opening and a plurality of radially expanded sections separating adjacent ones of the columns from one another; and

threadingly engaging a thread of a head of the fixation element with a plurality of projections extending from surfaces of the columns to lock the fixation element in the opening at the user selected angle, the projections extending along portions of a path extending helically about an inner surface of the opening;.