Biomechanical study of C1 posterior arch crossing screw and C2 lamina screw fixations for atlantoaxial joint instability

Chuang Liu, Allieu Kamara, Yunhui Yan
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2020 April 17, 15 (1): 156

BACKGROUND: The biomechanics of C1 posterior arch screw and C2 vertebral lamina screw techniques has not been well studied, and the biomechanical performance of the constructs cannot be explained only by cadaver testing.

METHODS: From computed tomography images, a nonlinear intact three-dimensional C1-2 finite element model was developed and validated. And on this basis, models for the odontoid fractures and the three posterior internal fixation techniques were developed. The range of motion (ROM) and stress distribution of the implants were analyzed and compared under flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation.

RESULTS: All three kinds of fixation techniques completely restricted the range of motion (ROM) at the C1-2 operative level. The C1-2 pedicle screw fixation technique showed lower and stable stress peak on implants. The C1 posterior arch screw + C2 pedicle screw and C1 pedicle screw + C2 lamina screw fixation techniques showed higher stress peaks on implants in extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation.

CONCLUSIONS: As asymmetrical fixations, C1 posterior arch screw + C2 pedicle screw and C1 pedicle screw + C2 lamina screw fixations may offer better stability in lateral bending and axial rotation, but symmetrical fixation C1-2 pedicle screw can put the implants in a position of mechanical advantage.

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