A Comprehensive Study of Physical Parameters, Biomechanical Properties, and Statistical Correlations of Iliac Crest Bone Wedges Used in Spinal Fusion Surgery: I. Physical Parameters and Their Correlations

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Iliac crest bone wedges are commonly used in spinal fusion procedures and must be capable of withstanding considerable mechanical stress during the healing process. The variability of “quality” of bone materials used in the production of bone wedges suggests that some bone materials may not be suitable for use in vertebral fusion procedures and some quantifiable means of predicting the suitability of bone wedges would be desirable. A total of 250 iliac crest wedges were used in this study. Physical parameters of iliac crest wedges, such as total cross-sectional area, cancellous cross-sectional area, cortical cross-sectional area, percentage of cortical cross-sectional area, “width,” and apparent density were determined. The statistical correlations among physical parameters were investigated. These correlations revealed that the relative percentage of cortical and cancellous bone remained fairly constant at 41% and 59%, respectively, regardless of total cross-sectional area of a wedge, that apparent density did not appreciably change with donor age, and that ash (inorganic) and organic content (weight) correlated well with the apparent density.

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