Improved Anchorage in Osteoporotic Vertebrae with New Implant Designs

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The goal of our study was to evaluate two newly developed implant designs and their behavior in terms of subsidence in lumbar vertebral bodies under cyclic loading. The new implants were evaluated in two different configurations (two small prototypes vs. one large prototype with similar load-bearing area) in comparison to a conventional screw-based implant (MACS TL). A pool of 13 spines with a total of 65 vertebrae was used to establish five testing groups of similar bone mineral density (BMD) distribution with eight lumbar vertebrae each. In additional to BMD assessment via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, cancellous BMD and structural parameters were determined using a new generation in vivo 3D-pQCT. The specimens were loaded sinusoidally in force control at 1 Hz for 1000 cycles at three load levels (100, 200, and 400 N). A survival analysis using the number of cycles until failure (Cox regression with covariates) was applied to reveal differences between implant groups. All new prototype configurations except the large cylinder survived significantly longer than the control group. The number of cycles until failure was significantly correlated with the structural parameter Tb.Sp. and similarly with the cancellous BMD for three of five implants. In both large prototypes the cycle number until failure significantly correlated with the preoperative distance to the upper endplates. Although the direct relationship between bone structure or density and mechanical breakage behavior cannot be conclusively proven, all the prototypes adapted for poor bone structure performed better than the comparable conventional implant. © 2006 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 24:917-925, 2006

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