Adjacent vertebral failure after vertebroplasty: a biomechanical study of low-modulus PMMA cement

Boger, Andreas; Heini, Paul; Windolf, Markus; Schneider, Erich (2007). Adjacent vertebral failure after vertebroplasty: a biomechanical study of low-modulus PMMA cement. European spine journal, 16(12), pp. 2118-25. Berlin: Springer 10.1007/s00586-007-0473-0

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PMMA is the most common bone substitute used for vertebroplasty. An increased fracture rate of the adjacent vertebrae has been observed after vertebroplasty. Decreased failure strength has been noted in a laboratory study of augmented functional spine units (FSUs), where the adjacent, non-augmented vertebral body always failed. This may provide evidence that rigid cement augmentation may facilitate the subsequent collapse of the adjacent vertebrae. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the decrease in failure strength of augmented FSUs can be avoided using low-modulus PMMA bone cement. In cadaveric FSUs, overall stiffness, failure strength and stiffness of the two vertebral bodies were determined under compression for both the treated and untreated specimens. Augmentation was performed on the caudal vertebrae with either regular or low-modulus PMMA. Endplate and wedge-shaped fractures occurred in the cranial and caudal vertebrae in the ratios endplate:wedge (cranial:caudal): 3:8 (5:6), 4:7 (7:4) and 10:1 (10:1) for control, low-modulus and regular cement group, respectively. The mean failure strength was 3.3 +/- 1 MPa with low-modulus cement, 2.9 +/- 1.2 MPa with regular cement and 3.6 +/- 1.3 MPa for the control group. Differences between the groups were not significant (p = 0.754 and p = 0.375, respectively, for low-modulus cement vs. control and regular cement vs. control). Overall FSU stiffness was not significantly affected by augmentation. Significant differences were observed for the stiffness differences of the cranial to the caudal vertebral body for the regular PMMA group to the other groups (p < 0.003). The individual vertebral stiffness values clearly showed the stiffening effect of the regular cement and the lesser alteration of the stiffness of the augmented vertebrae using the low-modulus PMMA compared to the control group (p = 0.999). In vitro biomechanical study and biomechanical evaluation of the hypothesis state that the failure strength of augmented functional spine units could be better preserved using low-modulus PMMA in comparison to regular PMMA cement.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Heini, Paul Ferdinand










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:57

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:17

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URI: (FactScience: 50886)

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