The role of sagittal alignment in predicting major failure of lumbopelvic instrumentation: a biomechanical validation of lumbopelvic failure classification

Woojin Cho, Wenhai Wang, Brandon Bucklen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study design: Finite element analysis. Objectives: To biomechanically validate the classification of lumbopelvic fixation failure using an in silico model. Summary of background data: Even though major failure of lumbopelvic constructs has occurred more often in patients with suboptimal lumbar lordosis and sagittal balance, there has been no biomechanical validation of this classification. Methods: Finite element models (T10–pelvis) were created to match the average spinal–pelvic parameters of two cohorts of patients reported in Cho et al. (J Neurosurg Spine 19:445–453, 2013): major failure group (defined as rod breakage between L4 and S1, failure of S1 screws and prominence of iliac screws requiring removal) and non-failure group. A moment was applied at the T10 superior endplate to simulate gravimetric loading in a standing position. Results: Due to differences in the alignment of spinopelvic parameters between normal and failed spines in the presence of a fixed gravity line, the major failure cohort in this study observed a 20% higher load and 18% greater instability. As a result, the rod and screw stress in the major failure cohort increased by 20% and 42%, respectively, in comparison to the non-failure cohort. Conclusions: The greater mechanical demand on the posterior rods in the lower lumbar spine in the major failure cohort further emphasizes the importance of proper sagittal alignment. This finite element analysis validates the classification of lumbopelvic fixation failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalSpine deformity
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Finite element analysis
  • Lumbopelvic failure
  • Lumbopelvic fixation
  • Sagittal alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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