An expandable tissue supporting device of the present invention employs ductile hinges at selected points in the expandable device. When expansion forces are applied to the device as a whole, the ductile hinges concentrate expansion stresses and strains in small well defined areas. The expandable medical device including ductile hinges provides the advantages of low expansion force requirements, relatively thick walls which are radio-opaque, improved crimping properties, high crush strength, reduced elastic recoil after implantation, and control of strain to a desired level. The expandable tissue supporting device includes a plurality of elongated beams arranged in a cylindrical device and connected together by a plurality of ductile hinges. Although many ductile hinge configurations are possible, the ductile hinges preferably have a substantially constant hinge cross sectional area which is smaller than a beam cross sectional area such that as the device is expanded from a first diameter to a second diameter, the ductile hinges experience plastic deformation while the beams are not plastically deformed.