ARTICLE: PDF OnlyThe Use of Sublaminar Cables to Replace Luque WiresSONGER, MATTHEW N. MD*; SPENCER, DAVID L MD†; MEYER, PAUL R. Jr., MD*; JAYARAMAN, GOPAL PhD‡Author Information *Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, Houghton, Michigan. †University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, Houghton, Michigan. ‡Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan. Spine: August 1991 - Volume 16 - Issue 8 - p S422 Free Abstract Sublaminar wires have been used in conjunction with posterior instrumentation to stabilize the spine. Sublaminar wiring has fallen into disfavor because of an increase in neurologic complications with the Luque technique as well as wire breakage, dural tears, and difficulty of removal. A cable system consisting of two 49-stranded stainless steel cables connected to one malleable leader was designed to overcome these shortcomings. Biomechanical testing revealed that the maximum yield strength of a single stainless steel cable loop was 2.85–2.94 times greater than a double 0.05-in. stainless steel wire loop. The fatigue tests demonstrated that the stainless steel cables required 6–22 times more cycles to failure than the stainless steel wire. Many of the titanium cables failed immediately under higher loads (0–100 lb) because of slipping of the crimp. The preliminary clinical results after a mean of 19 months of follow-up of 245 cables are encouraging. There has been no breakage or loosening of the cables and no complications associated with the use of the cables. The stainless steel cables are very strong, but more important, the cable flexibility prevents repeated contusions to the spinal cord during insertion of the rods and tightening of wires. The cable conforms to the undersurface of the lamina. This may lead to a decrease in neurologic complications. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.