Biomechanical analysis of rigid stabilization techniques for three-column injury in the lower cervical spine
Study Design. Comparison of nondestructive multidirectional flexibility in groups of specimens receiving two different posterior instrumentation constructs with or without anterior plating. Objective. To compare stability after a three-column injury stabilized posteriorly by lateral mass screws-rods at C5-C6 and pedicle screws-rods at C7 ("LLP") or by pedicle screws-rods at C5-C6-C7 ("PPP"), and to compare posterior, anterior, and combined anterior-posterior fixation. Summary of Background Data. Pedicle screws resist pullout better than lateral mass screws, but little research has compared the stability of pedicle screws to that of lateral mass screws used within constructs. Methods. Fourteen human cadaveric C4-T1 specimens were tested intact, posteriorly instrumented (7 LLP and 7 PPP), anteriorly instrumented, or with combined (anterior-posterior) instrumentation. Nonconstraining, nondestructive torques induced flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation while angular motion was recorded optically. Results. Posterior, anterior, and combined instrumentation each significantly improved stability (P < 0.05). Combined fixation provided significantly better stability than either anterior or posterior instrumentation alone. In no loading mode and in no testing condition was any parameter significantly different between LLP and PPP. Posterior instrumentation provided significantly better stability than anterior instrumentation. Conclusions. Anterior plate and posterior screw-rod fixation alone improve stability in a two-level, three-column cervical injury model. Combined fixation further improves stability. There is little discernible difference in immediate postoperative stability between posterior rod constructs combining lateral mass and pedicle screws and those using only pedicle screws. ©2005, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bozkus, Hakan; Ames, Christopher P.; Chamberlain, Robert H.; Nottmeier, Eric W.; Sonntag, Volker K.H.; Papadopoulos, Stephen M.; and Crawford, Neil R., "Biomechanical analysis of rigid stabilization techniques for three-column injury in the lower cervical spine" (2005). Neurobiology. 830.