Abdulrazzaq Alobaid, Vincent Arlet, Andre Busato, Thomas Steffen

April 2005, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 759 - 764 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-004-0805-2

First Online: 14 April 2005

The pull-out of the superior screw is a well recognized problem in anterior instrumentation of the spine for scoliosis. A biomechanical pull-out study of anterior vertebral body screw in cadaveric thoracic spine was therefore designed to investigate and compare the pull-out strength of three different anterior vertebral body fixations using the AO Universal Spine System: simple bicortical screw, bicortical screw with an opposite washer (sometimes called pull-out resistant nut), and a new construct made of a bicortical screw with the addition of a suprapedicular hook on the same vertebra (or claw construct). The T4 to T9 vertebral bodies from six human cadavers (total of 36 specimens) were instrumented with three different instrumentation constructs after measuring the bone mineral density of each individual vertebra. After stabilization of the vertebral bodies, the screws were extracted employing a material testing system using axial pull-out. The maximum axial forces were recorded at the time of the construct failure. The mean ultimate fixation strength (UFS) values after being adjusted for bone mineral density and vertebral body diameter were 631, 711, and 1244 N for the three different constructs, respectively (screw alone, screw with an opposite washer, and screw with a suprapedicle claw). The difference in UFS was not significant for the first two constructs tested (screw alone and screw with an opposite washer). However, the difference in ultimate fixation strength between the claw and the other constructs was highly significant (P

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