Biomechanics of transvertebral screw fixation in the thoracic spine: An in vitro study
© AANS, 2016. OBJECTIVE: Transvertebral screws provide stability in thoracic spinal fixation surgeries, with their use mainly limited to patients who require a pedicle screw salvage technique. However, the biomechanical impact of transvertebral screws alone, when they are inserted across 2 vertebral bodies, has not been studied. In this study, the authors assessed the stability offered by a transvertebral screw construct for posterior instrumentation and compared its biomechanical performance to that of standard bilateral pedicle screw and rod (PSR) fixation. METHODS: Fourteen fresh human cadaveric thoracic spine segments from T-6 to T-11 were divided into 2 groups with similar ages and bone quality. Group 1 received transvertebral screws across 2 levels without rods and subsequently with interconnecting bilateral rods at 3 levels (T8-10). Group 2 received bilateral PSR fxation and were sequentially tested with interconnecting rods at T7-8 and T9-10, at T8-9, and at T8-10. Flexibility tests were performed on intact and instrumented specimens in both groups. Presurgical and postsurgical O-arm 3D images were obtained to verify screw placement. r e sU lt s: The mean range of motion (ROM) per motion segment with transvertebral screws spanning 2 levels compared with the intact condition was 66% of the mean intact ROM during fexion-extension (p = 0.013), 69% during lateral bending (p = 0.015), and 47% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). The mean ROM per motion segment with PSR spanning 2 levels compared with the intact condition was 38% of the mean intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 57% during lateral bending (p = 0.007), and 27% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). Adding bilateral rods to the 3 levels with transvertebral screws decreased the mean ROM per motion segment to 28% of intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 37% during lateral bending (p < 0.001), and 30% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). The mean ROM per motion segment for PSR spanning 3 levels was 21% of intact ROM during flexion-extension (p < 0.001), 33% during lateral bending (p < 0.001), and 22% during axial rotation (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Biomechanically, flxation with a novel technique in the thoracic spine involving transvertebral screws showed restoration of stability to well within the stability provided by PSR flxation.
Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Rodriguez-Martinez, Nestor G.; Savardekar, Amey; Nottmeier, Eric W.; Pirris, Stephen; Reyes, Phillip M.; Newcomb, Anna G.U.S.; Mendes, George A.C.; Kalb, Samuel; Theodore, Nicholas; and Crawford, Neil R., "Biomechanics of transvertebral screw fixation in the thoracic spine: An in vitro study" (2016). Neurobiology. 738.