Examine the biomechanical effect of material properties, geometric variables, and anchoring arrangements in a segmental pedicle screw with connecting rods spanning the entire lumbar spine using finite element models (FEMs). The objectives of this study are (1) to understand how different variables associated with posterior instrumentation affect the lumbar spine kinematics and stresses in instrumentation, (2) to compare the multidirectional stability of the spinal instrumentation, and (3) to determine how these variables contribute to the rigidity of the long-segment fusion in a lumbar spine. A lumbar spine FEM was used to analyze the biomechanical effects of different materials used for spinal rods (TNTZ or Ti or CoCr), varying diameters of the screws and rods (5 mm and 6 mm), and different fixation techniques (multilevel or intermittent). The results based on the range of motion and stress distribution in the rods and screws revealed that differences in properties and variations in geometry of the screw-rod moderately affect the biomechanics of the spine. Further, the spinal screw-rod system was least stable under the lateral bending mode. Stress analyzes of the screws and rods revealed that the caudal section of the posterior spinal instrumentation was more susceptible to high stresses and hence possible failure. Although CoCr screws and rods provided the greatest spinal stabilization, these constructs were susceptible to fatigue failure. The findings of the present study suggest that a posterior instrumentation system with a 5-mm screw-rod diameter made of Ti or TNTZ is advantageous over CoCr instrumentation system.
Biomechanical Analysis of a Long-Segment Fusion in a Lumbar Spine—A Finite Element Model Study
Manuscript received December 28, 2017; final manuscript received March 27, 2018; published online May 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: James C Iatridis.
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Natarajan, R. N., Watanabe, K., and Hasegawa, K. (May 24, 2018). "Biomechanical Analysis of a Long-Segment Fusion in a Lumbar Spine—A Finite Element Model Study." ASME. J Biomech Eng. September 2018; 140(9): 091011. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039989
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