A retrospective comparative study.
To investigate the clinical efficacy of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) augmentation in vertebral pseudarthrosis
after osteoporotic vertebral fractures.
Summary of Background Data:
Despite being the most rigid form of posterior instrumentation, pedicle screws sometimes achieve poor initial fixation primarily in patients with osteoporosis. One method for improving pedicle screw fixation
in osteoporotic spines is pedicle augmentation using bone cement such as PMMA. Although various biomechanical studies of osteoporotic spines have shown improved pullout strength of pedicle screws augmented with bone cement, there have been few studies that have examined the clinical significance of PMMA augmentation.
Thirty-eight patients with posterior fusion using pedicle screws for vertebral pseudarthrosis
after osteoporotic vertebral fracture
were included in the study. The level of fracture ranged from T7 to L5. The mean follow-up period was 31 months. Patients were divided into 2 groups: those with posterior instrumentation using pedicle screws augmented with PMMA (group C, N=17) and those without PMMA augmentation (group NC, N=21). Clinical and radiographic results for the 2 groups were compared.
With the exception of osteoporotic status, there were no significant differences in the baseline data of the 2 groups. The incidence of clear zones around the pedicle screws was significantly suppressed in group C compared with group NC (29.4% vs. 71.4%). Correction loss was significantly decreased (3 degrees vs. 7.2 degrees) and fusion rate was significantly higher in group C (94.1% vs. 76.1%). Back pain improved in 64.7% of the group C patients. There were no perioperative complications related to the PMMA cement in group C.
Reinforcement of pedicle screws using PMMA augmentation may be a feasible surgical technique for osteoporotic spines.