M. Schultheiss, E. Hartwig, L. Kinzl, L. Claes, H.-J. Wilke

November 2003, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 93 - 100 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-003-0640-x

First Online: 22 November 2003

Minimally invasive techniques for spinal surgery are becoming more widespread as improved technologies are developed. Stabilization plays an important role in fracture treatment, but appropriate instrumentation systems for endoscopic circumstances are lacking. Therefore a new thoracoscopically implantable stabilization system for thoracolumbar fracture treatment was developed and its biomechanical in vitro properties were compared. In a biomechanical in vitro study, burst fracture stabilization was simulated and anterior short fixation devices were tested under load with pure moments to evaluate the biomechanical stabilizing characteristics of the new system in comparison with a currently available system. With interbody graft and fixation the new system demonstrated higher stabilizing effects in flexion/extension and lateral bending and restored axial stability beyond the intact spine, as well as having comparable or improved effects compared with the current system. Because of this biomechanical characterization a clinical trial is warranted; the usefulness of the new system has already been demonstrated in 45 patients in our department and more than 300 cases in a multicenter study which is currently under way.

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