New means in spinal pedicle hook fixation. A biomechanical evaluation

Berlemann, U; Cripton, P; Nolte, L P; Lippuner, K; Schläpfer, F (1995). New means in spinal pedicle hook fixation. A biomechanical evaluation. European spine journal, 4(2), pp. 114-22. Berlin: Springer

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Pedicle hooks which are used as an anchorage for posterior spinal instrumentation may be subjected to considerable three-dimensional forces. In order to achieve stronger attachment to the implantation site, hooks using screws for additional fixation have been developed. The failure loads and mechanisms of three such devices have been experimentally determined on human thoracic vertebrae: the Universal Spine System (USS) pedicle hook with one screw, a prototype pedicle hook with two screws and the Cotrel-Dubousset (CD) pedicle hook with screw. The USS hooks use 3.2-mm self-tapping fixation screws which pass into the pedicle, whereas the CD hook is stabilised with a 3-mm set screw pressing against the superior part of the facet joint. A clinically established 5-mm pedicle screw was tested for comparison. A matched pair experimental design was implemented to evaluate these implants in constrained (series I) and rotationally unconstrained (series II) posterior pull-out tests. In the constrained tests the pedicle screw was the strongest implant, with an average pull-out force of 1650 N (SD 623 N). The prototype hook was comparable, with an average failure load of 1530 N (SD 414 N). The average pull-out force of the USS hook with one screw was 910 N (SD 243 N), not significantly different to the CD hook's average failure load of 740 N (SD 189 N). The result of the unconstrained tests were similar, with the prototype hook being the strongest device (average 1617 N, SD 652 N). However, in this series the difference in failure load between the USS hook with one screw and the CD hook was significant. Average failure loads of 792 N (SD 184 N) for the USS hook and 464 N (SD 279 N) for the CD hook were measured. A pedicular fracture in the plane of the fixation screw was the most common failure mode for USS hooks.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Lippuner, Kurt








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:24

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 22:52

PubMed ID:


URI: (FactScience: 212071)

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