A biomechanical comparison of sacral pedicle screw salvage techniques

Bonaventure B. Ngu, Stephen M. Belkoff, Daniel E. Gelb, Steven C. Ludwig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design. Biomechanical cadaver study. Objectives. The purpose of our study was to compare the pullout strength of standard, expandable, and cement-augmented pedicle screws. Summary of Background Data. Salvage procedures are needed to restore the stability of lumbosacral arthrodesis when pedicle screw fixation in the sacrum fails. Methods. Thirteen pairs of sacral (S1) pedicles were implanted initially with 7-mm tapped monoaxial stainless steel pedicle screws (Moss Miami, Depuy Spine, Raynham, MA) inserted under fluoroscopy with bicortical purchase. The screws were distracted axially at a rate of 6 mm/min to measure pullout strength. One pedicle of each pair was assigned randomly to be revised with an expandable pedicle screw (ω-21 Spinal Fixation System, EBI Medical Systems, Parsippany, NJ); the contralateral pedicle was revised with a screw augmented with polymethylmethacrylate (Simplex P, Howmedica, Mahwah, NJ). The screws then were retested as before to measure pullout strength. Results. Expandable screws (391 ± 28 N) and polymethylmethacrylate-augmented screws (599 ± 28 N) exhibited significantly greater pullout strength than their respective initial standard pedicle screws (145 ± 28 N and 156 ± 28 N). Conclusions. Our results suggest that expandable pedicle screws may provide sufficient fixation, but these results need clinical verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E166-E168
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006


  • Axial pullout
  • Polymethylmethacrylate
  • Revision
  • Sacral pedicle screw
  • Salvage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'A biomechanical comparison of sacral pedicle screw salvage techniques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this