Mechanical Stability of the Pedicle Screw Fixation Systems for the Lumbar Spine

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Five different pedicle screw systems: AO Fixator Interne, VSP Steffee plate, Luque ISF, modified Zielke, and Chibatype plate screw system (experimental device), were evaluated for biomechanical strength. A fatigue test for the screw, compressive, and torsional tests for the pedicle screw systems and a pull-out test of the pedicle screw were done.

Even the Schanz screw, which showed the highest endurance limit, may be broken under the continuous loading condition in the body. The AO Fixator Interne and Steffee plate system themselves are rigid and are indicated for injuries that need reduction. The Luque ISF, modified Zielke, and Chiba-type plate screw systems, however, are indicated for degenerative lumbar disease requiring in situ fusion. There was a linear positive correlation between the bone mineral density of the vertebral body and the pull-out strength of the pedicle screw (correlation coefficient, 0.68). The fixation strength of the pedicle screw to the bone decreased remarkably in osteoporosis.

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