Xiaoyu Wang, Carl-Eric Aubin, Isabelle Robitaille, Hubert Labelle

June 2012, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1082 - 1090 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-011-2089-7

First Online: 27 November 2011


The objective of this computational study was to compare the biomechanical effects of different implant densities in terms of curve reduction and the force levels at the implant–vertebra interface and on the intervertebral elements.


Eight cases were randomly picked among patients who have undergone a posterior spinal instrumentation for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). For each case, two computer simulations were performed, one with the actual surgery implant pattern and another with the same fusion levels but an alternative implant pattern proposed by an experienced surgeon. The two implant patterns for each case were respectively put into higher and lower implant density group. The spinal correction and the force levels at bone–implant interface and on the intervertebral elements were analyzed and compared between the two groups.


There were on average 13% more pedicle screws and 30% more bilaterally placed pedicle screws in the higher versus lower density group. The difference in the density of screws (92% vs. 79%) did not lead to significant difference in terms of the resulting main thoracic (MT) Cobb angle, and the MT apical axial vertebral rotation. The average and maximum implant-vertebra force levels were about 50 and 65%, respectively higher in the higher versus lower density group, but without consistent distribution patterns. The average intervertebral forces did not significantly differ between the two groups.


With the same fusion levels, lower density screws allowed achieving similar deformity correction and it was more likely to have lower screw–vertebra loads.

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