COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Which posterior instrumentation is better for two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion: translaminar facet screw or pedicle screw?

Yingnuo Hou, Yong Shen, Zhongpo Liu, Zhihong Nie
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2013, 133 (1): 37-42
23109094

PURPOSE: To determine whether translaminar facet screws can provide stability equivalent to pedicle screws and whether the two posterior instrumentations have the same influence on the adjacent segments in two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion.

METHODS: In a biomechanical study conducted, we used 12 fresh human lumbar spines and tested an intact spine with a stand-alone two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion and anterior fusion augmented with pedicle screws or translaminar facet screws, under 400 N compressive preloads and 7.5 N m moments in flexion, extension, axial rotation and lateral bending, and measured the stiffness of the operated level, range of motion and intradiscal pressure at the adjacent levels.

RESULTS: We found a significant increase in the stiffness of the segments operated, range of motion and intradiscal pressure at the adjacent superior segment in the stand-alone two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion during flexion, axial rotation and lateral bending, but a decrease in extension, when compared with the intact spine. The stiffness of operated segments, range of motion and intradiscal pressure in the adjacent segment are significantly higher in the two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion augmented with posterior instrumentation than in the stand-alone two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion. There was no significant difference between the two augmented constructs except that, at the adjacent superior segment, the intradiscal pressure was more in the construction augmented with a pedicle screw than with a translaminar facet screw in flexion.

CONCLUSIONS: Translaminar facet screws can provide stability equivalent to pedicle screws, but their influence on the adjacent segments is relatively lower; therefore, we suggest that translaminar facet screws be the choice in the optimal posterior instrumentation in a two-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion.

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