A PRELIMINARY IN VITRO BIOMECHANICAL EVALUATION OF PROPHYLACTIC CEMENT AUGMENTATION OF THE THORACOLUMBAR VERTEBRAE

LUCA CRISTOFOLINI, NICOLA BRANDOLINI, VALENTINA DANESI, PAOLO ERANI, MARCO VICECONTI, STEPHEN J. FERGUSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, the biomechanical effectiveness of prophylactic augmentation in preventing fracture was investigated. In vitro biomechanical tests were performed to assess which factors make prophylactic augmentation effective/ineffective in reducing fracture risk. Nondestructive and destructive in vitro tests were performed on isolated osteoporotic vertebrae. Five sets of three-adjacent-vertebrae were tested. The central vertebra of each triplet was tested in the natural condition (control) non-destructively (axial-compression, torsion) and destructively (axial-compression). The two adjacent vertebrae were first tested nondestructively (axial-compression, torsion) pre-augmentation; prophylactic augmentation (uni- or bi-pedicular access) was then performed delivering 5.04(Formula presented.)mL to 8.44(Formula presented.)mL of acrylic cement by means of a customized device; quality of augmentation was CT-assessed; the augmented vertebrae were re-tested nondestructively (axial-compression, torsion), and eventually loaded to failure (axial-compression). Vertebral stiffness was correlated with the first-failure, but not with ultimate failure. The force and work to ultimate failure in prophylactic-augmented vertebrae was consistently larger than in the controls. However, in some cases the first-failure force and work in the augmented vertebrae were lower than for the controls. To investigate the reasons for such unpredictable results, the correlation with augmentation quality was analyzed. Some augmentation parameters seemed more correlated with mechanical outcome (statistically not-significant due to the limited sample size): uni-pedicular access resulted in a single cement mass, which tended to increase the force and work to first- and ultimate failure. The specimens with the highest strength and toughness also had: at least 25% cement filling, cement mass shifted anteriorly, and cement-endplate contact. These findings seem to confirm that prophylactic augmentation may aid reducing the risk of fracture. However, inadequate augmentation may have detrimental consequences. This study suggests that, to improve the strength of the augmented vertebrae, more attention should be dedicated to the quality of augmentation in terms of amount and position of the injected cement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016

Keywords

  • in vitro mechanical testing
  • Prophylactic augmentation
  • strain distribution
  • strength
  • vertebral body
  • work to failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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    CRISTOFOLINI, LUCA., BRANDOLINI, NICOLA., DANESI, VALENTINA., ERANI, PAOLO., VICECONTI, MARCO., & FERGUSON, STEPHEN. J. (Accepted/In press). A PRELIMINARY IN VITRO BIOMECHANICAL EVALUATION OF PROPHYLACTIC CEMENT AUGMENTATION OF THE THORACOLUMBAR VERTEBRAE. Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0219519416500743