Comparative Study
Evaluation Study
Journal Article
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Segmental polymethylmethacrylate-augmented pedicle screw fixation in patients with bone softening caused by osteoporosis and metastatic tumor involvement: a clinical evaluation.

Neurosurgery 2007 September
OBJECTIVE: Instrumentation of the osteoporotic spine may result in bone failure because of pedicle screw loosening and pullout. A clinical evaluation of a novel fenestrated bone tap used in pedicle screw augmentation was performed to determine the performance and safety of this technique.

METHODS: Over a 2.5-year period, the clinical and radiographic results of 119 consecutive patients who underwent instrumented arthrodesis were reviewed. Of these patients, 23 had bone softening secondary to osteoporosis and/or metastatic spinal tumor involvement. These patients underwent surgical decompression and spinal instrumentation.

RESULTS: Six patients (26%) had metastatic spine disease (squamous cell lung carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, bladder carcinoma, breast, prostate, and uterine adenocarcinoma); five patients (22%) had a degenerative spondylolisthesis; and 12 patients (52%) had burst fractures, eight as a result of benign causes and four as a result of metastatic disease. Four (17%) patients underwent revision surgery of previous pedicle screw failure resulting from bone softening and pseudarthrosis. A total of 98 levels were fused using 158 polymethylmethacrylate-augmented screws. None of the patients experienced operative death, myocardial infarction, hypoxemia, intraoperative hypotension, radiculopathy, or myelopathy. Asymptomatic anterior cement extravasation was observed in nine patients (39%). There was one asymptomatic polymethylmethacrylate pulmonary embolus and one wound infection. There was no significant relationship between cement extravasation and the quantity used, levels augmented, or location (P > 0.05). There were no construct failures.

CONCLUSION: Polymethylmethacrylate-augmented pedicle screw fixation reduces the likelihood of pedicle screw loosening and pullout in patients with osteoporosis requiring instrumented arthrodesis.

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