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Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2013 Oct;23(7):775-80. doi: 10.1007/s00590-012-1076-y. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Treatment of thoracolumbar fracture with pedicle screws at injury level: a biomechanical study based on three-dimensional finite element analysis.

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1
Department of Spinal Surgery, First People's Hospital of Lianyungang Hospital Affiliated to Xuzhou Medical College, No. 182, Tongguan Road, Xinpu District, Lianyungang, 222000, Jiangsu Province, China, liqinl@163.com.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the biomechanical mechanisms of treatment of thoracolumbar compression fracture with pedicle screws at injury level based on a three-dimensional finite element method. We constructed one three-dimensional finite element model of T11-L1 in a patient with a compression fracture of the T12 vertebral body(anterior edges of vertebral body were compressed to 1/2, and kyphosis Cobb angle was 18.6°) fixed by four pedicle screws and another model fixed by six pedicle screws at the injured vertebrae, and then assigned different forces to the two models to account for axial compression, flexion, extension, left lateral bending, and rightward axial rotation by Ansys software. After different loading forces were applied to the models, we recorded stress measurements on the vertebral pedicle screws, as well as the maximum displacement of T11. The stress distribution suggested that stress concentration was appreciable at the root of the pedicle screws under different loading modalities. Under axial compression, flexion, extension, left lateral bending, and rightward axial rotation load, the stress for the superior screw was significantly greater than the stress for the inferior screw (P < 0.05). The stress in the six pedicle screw fixation model was significantly decreased compared to the four screw interbody fusion model (P < 0.05), but the maximum displacement of T11 between two models under different loadings was not statistically different. The use of pedicle screws at injured vertebral bodies may optimize internal fixation load and reduce the incidence of broken screws.

PMID:
23412208
DOI:
10.1007/s00590-012-1076-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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