Pedicle screw-rod–based hybrid stabilization (PH) and interspinous device–based hybrid stabilization (IH) have been proposed to prevent adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) and their effectiveness has been reported. However, a comparative study based on sound biomechanical proof has not yet been reported. The aim of this study was to compare the biomechanical effects of IH and PH on the transition and adjacent segments.
A validated finite element model of the normal lumbosacral spine was used. Based on the normal model, a rigid fusion model was immobilized at the L4–5 level by a rigid fixator. The DIAM or NFlex model was added on the L3–4 segment of the fusion model to construct the IH and PH models, respectively. The developed models simulated 4 different loading directions using the hybrid loading protocol.
Compared with the intact case, fusion on L4–5 produced 18.8%, 9.3%, 11.7%, and 13.7% increments in motion at L3–4 under flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation, respectively. Additional instrumentation at L3–4 (transition segment) in hybrid models reduced motion changes at this level. The IH model showed 8.4%, −33.9%, 6.9%, and 2.0% change in motion at the segment, whereas the PH model showed −30.4%, −26.7%, −23.0%, and 12.9%. At L2–3 (adjacent segment), the PH model showed 14.3%, 3.4%, 15.0%, and 0.8% of motion increment compared with the motion in the IH model. Both hybrid models showed decreased intradiscal pressure (IDP) at the transition segment compared with the fusion model, but the pressure at L2–3 (adjacent segment) increased in all loading directions except under extension.
Both IH and PH models limited excessive motion and IDP at the transition segment compared with the fusion model. At the segment adjacent to the transition level, PH induced higher stress than IH model. Such differences may eventually influence the likelihood of ASD.