Iliac Screws May Not Be Necessary In Long-Segment Constructs With L5€“S1 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Cadaveric Study Of Stability And Instrumentation Strain



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BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Lumbosacral pseudoarthrosis and instrumentation failure is common with long-segment constructs. Optimizing lumbosacral construct biomechanics may help to reduce failure rates. The influence of iliac screws and interbody type on range of motion (ROM), rod strain (RS), sacral screw strain (SS)is not well-established. PURPOSE: Investigate the effects of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), and iliac screws on long-segment lumbosacral construct biomechanics. STUDY DESIGN: Biomechanical study. PATIENT SAMPLE: Fourteen human cadaveric spine specimens. OUTCOME MEASURES: Lumbosacral ROM, RS, and SS. METHODS: Specimens were potted at L1 and the ilium. Specimens were equally divided into either an L5–S1 ALIF or TLIF group and underwent testing in the following conditions: (1)intact (2)L2–S1 pedicle screw rod fixation (PSR-S)(3)L2-ilium (PSR-I)(4)PSR-S+ALIF (ALIF-S)or TLIF (TLIF-S)(5)PSR-I + ALIF (ALIF-I)or TLIF (TLIF-I). Pure moment bending (7.5 Nm)in flexion, extension, lateral bending, axial rotation, and compressive loads (400N)were applied and ROM, SS, and RS were measured. Comparisons were performed using a one-way ANOVA (p<.05). RESULTS: ALIF-S and TLIF-S provided similar decreases in ROM as TLIF-I (p>.05). Compared to PSR-S, PSR-I significantly decreased SS during bending in all directions (p<.02)but increased RS in flexion and extension (p≤.02). Anterior lumbar interbody fusion-S provided similar decreases in SS as TLIF-I in all directions (p>.40)but had significantly less RS than TLIF-I in flexion, extension, compression (p<.01). TLIF-S had more SS than TLIF-I in flexion, extension, axial rotation (p<.02), while TLIF-S had less RS only in flexion (p=.03). Compared to PSR-I, ALIF-I decreased the RS (p<.02)but TLIF-I did not (p>.67). CONCLUSIONS: Iliac screws were protective of SS but increased RS at the lumbosacral junction. Constructs with ALIF and no iliac screws result in comparable SS as constructs with TLIF and iliac screws with significantly reduced RS. If iliac screws are utilized, ALIF but not TLIF reduces the iliac screw-induced RS. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: There is a relatively high incidence of lumbosacral instrumentation failure in adult spinal deformity. Optimizing lumbosacral construct biomechanics may help to reduce failure rates. Iliac screws induce lumbosacral rod strain and may be responsible for instrumentation failure. Constructs with lumbosacral ALIF reduce iliac-screw induced rod strain and may obviate the need for fixation to the ilium.

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Spine Journal







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