Effect of spinal construct stiffness on short segment fusion mass incorporation.

Abstract:

STUDY DESIGN:Three segment (L3-L5) pedicle screw constructs were implanted in caprine spines, and the resulting ankylosis evaluated mechanically and compared 12 weeks after surgery. OBJECTIVES:To determine if a construct of maximal stiffness could impair the biologic process of spinal arthrodesis by "stress-shielding." SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:Fusion mass stiffness is believed to be enhanced by increasing construct stiffness, although previous studies have used semirigid, nonconstrained constructs, which lose stiffness through cyclical loading. Device-related osteoporosis, reported to occur with stiff, constrained implants, may be more related to the presence of fusion induced by the implants rather than the implants themselves. METHODS:In 15 goats, L3-L5 segments were instrumented with pedicle screws, and four different diameters of rods (3.2 cm, 4.8 cm, 6.4 mm, and no rods) were implanted as longitudinal connections to vary the stiffness of the constructs. After 12 weeks, animals were killed and the segments were tested to determine their stiffness. RESULTS:In lateral bending, spines "fused" with rods (any size) were significantly stiffer (P = 0.03) than nonrodded spines. There was a trend toward stiffer segments with larger rods (4.8 cm or 6.4 mm) compared with 3.2 mm or no rods. There was a highly significant (P < 0.0001) increase in stiffness of all operated (rodded or nonrodded) segments compared with unoperated controls. CONCLUSIONS:The enhancement of segmental stiffness by stiffer constructs was confirmed, suggesting a beneficial effect on spinal arthrodesis by increasing stiffness. Stress shielding could not be shown.

journal_name

Spine (Phila Pa 1976)

journal_title

Spine

authors

Johnston CE 2nd,Welch RD,Baker KJ,Ashman RB

doi

10.1097/00007632-199511001-00006

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1995-11-15 00:00:00

pages

2400-7

issue

22

eissn

0362-2436

issn

1528-1159

journal_volume

20

pub_type

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