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  • Author or Editor: Anna G. U. Sawa x
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Hakan Bozkuş, Mehmet Şenoğlu, Seungwon Baek, Anna G. U. Sawa, Ali Fahir Özer, Volker K. H. Sonntag and Neil R. Crawford

Object

It is unclear how the biomechanics of dynamic posterior lumbar stabilization systems and traditional rigid pedicle screw-rod systems differ. This study examined the biomechanical response of a hinged-dynamic pedicle screw compared with a standard rigid screw used in a 1-level pedicle screw-rod construct.

Methods

Unembalmed human cadaveric L3–S1 segments were tested intact, after L4–5 discectomy, after rigid pedicle screw-rod fixation, and after dynamic pedicle screw-rod fixation. Specimens were loaded using pure moments to induce flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation while recording motion optoelectronically. Specimens were then loaded in physiological flexion-extension while applying 400 N of compression. Moment and force across instrumentation were recorded from pairs of strain gauges mounted on the interconnecting rods.

Results

The hinged-dynamic screws allowed an average of 160% greater range of motion during flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation than standard rigid screws (p < 0.03) but 30% less motion than normal. When using standard screws, bending moments and axial loads on the rods were greater than the bending moments and axial loads on the rods when using dynamic screws during most loading modes (p < 0.05). The axis of rotation shifted significantly posteriorly more than 10 mm from its normal position with both devices.

Conclusions

In a 1-level pedicle screw-rod construct, hinged-dynamic screws allowed a quantity of motion that was substantially closer to normal motion than that allowed by rigid pedicle screws. Both systems altered kinematics similarly. Less load was borne by the hinged screw construct, indicating that the hinged-dynamic screws allow less stress shielding than standard rigid screws.

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Fatih Ersay Deniz, Leonardo B. C. Brasiliense, Bruno C. R. Lazaro, Phillip M. Reyes, Anna G. U. Sawa, Volker K. H. Sonntag and Neil R. Crawford

Object

The authors investigated the biomechanical properties of transpedicular discectomy in the thoracic spine and compared the effects on spinal stability of a partial and total facetectomy.

Methods

Human thoracic specimens were tested while intact, after a transpedicular discectomy with partial facetectomy, and after an additional total facetectomy was incorporated. Nonconstraining pure moments were applied under load control (maximum 7.5 Nm) to induce flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation while spinal motion was measured at T8–9 optoelectronically. The range of motion (ROM) and lax zone were determined in each specimen and compared among conditions.

Results

Transpedicular discectomy with and without a total facetectomy significantly increased the ROM and lax zone in all directions of loading compared with the intact spine (p < 0.008). The segmental increase in ROM observed with the transpedicular discectomy was 25%. The additional total facetectomy created an insignificant 3% further increase in ROM compared with medial facetectomy (p > 0.2).

Conclusions

Transpedicular discectomy can be performed in the thoracic spine with a modest decrease in stability expected. Because the biomechanical behavior of a total facetectomy is equivalent to that of a medial facetectomy, the additional facet removal may be incorporated without further biomechanical consequences.

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Bruno C. R. Lazaro, Fatih Ersay Deniz, Leonardo B. C. Brasiliense, Phillip M. Reyes, Anna G. U. Sawa, Nicholas Theodore, Volker K. H. Sonntag and Neil R. Crawford

Object

Posterior screw-rod fixation for thoracic spine trauma usually involves fusion across long segments. Biomechanical data on screw-based short-segment fixation for thoracic fusion are lacking. The authors compared the effects of spanning short and long segments in the thoracic spine.

Methods

Seven human spine segments (5 segments from T-2 to T-8; 2 segments from T-3 to T-9) were prepared. Pure-moment loading of 6 Nm was applied to induce flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation while 3D motion was measured optoelectronically. Normal specimens were tested, and then a wedge fracture was created on the middle vertebra after cutting the posterior ligaments. Five conditions of instrumentation were tested, as follows: Step A, 4-level fixation plus cross-link; Step B, 2-level fixation; Step C, 2-level fixation plus cross-link; Step D, 2-level fixation plus screws at fracture site (index); and Step E, 2-level fixation plus index screws plus cross-link.

Results

Long-segment fixation restricted 2-level range of motion (ROM) during extension and lateral bending significantly better than the most rigid short-segment construct. Adding index screws in short-segment constructs significantly reduced ROM during flexion, lateral bending, and axial rotation (p < 0.03). A cross-link reduced axial rotation ROM (p = 0.001), not affecting other loading directions (p > 0.4).

Conclusions

Thoracic short-segment fixation provides significantly less stability than long-segment fixation for the injury studied. Adding a cross-link to short fixation improved stability only during axial rotation. Adding a screw at the fracture site improved short-segment stability by an average of 25%.