Failure of the pedicle screw at the screw-bone interface is a common clinical problem, particularly in the setting of osteoporosis, and poses reconstructive challenges for all orthopaedic surgeons. Pedicle screw failure through screw loosing and pull-out is highly correlated with bone mineral density (BMD) and local bone quality [1]. Pre-operative assessment of BMD via dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) has been shown to help determine the need for screw augmentation. However, patients frequently present without pre-operative DEXA scans. Furthermore, DEXA scans provide a measure of general bone quality, but do not necessarily reflect segmental and local variation in the spine [2]. The ability to assess BMD on a per-vertebrae basis intra-operatively would assist with surgical decisions regarding screw sizing, placement and augmentation.

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