Long posterior fusion constructs in the lumbar spine cause substantial posteriorly directed loading of the supporting pedicle screws, particularly during patient bending activities. Although there are numerous documented accounts of clinical failure at the pedicle screw-bone interface [1,2], the in situ pull-out strength of pedicle screws in long surgical constructs has not been characterized. Previous biomechanical studies have quantified pedicle screw pull-out force in cadaveric models through destructive testing or in nondestructive cases, through the use of custom-machined pedicle screws instrumented with strain gages [3–6]. However, these techniques involve altering screw geometry and may fail to properly simulate in vivo mechanical loading conditions. The goal of this study was to develop and validate a sensor system for measuring pedicle screw pull-out forces in long posterior constructs in situ during multi-segmental cadaveric testing.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.