OBJECTIVES: Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) affect the elderly population, especially postmenopausal women. Percutaneous kyphoplasty is designed to treat painful vertebral compression fractures for which conservative therapy has been unsuccessful. High-viscosity cement can be injected by either a hydraulic pressure delivery system (HPDS) or a balloon tamp system (BTS). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the safety and clinical outcomes of these two systems. METHODS: A random, multicenter, prospective study was performed. Clinical and radiological assessments were carried out, including assessments of general surgery information, visual analog scale, quality of life, cement leakage, and height and angle restoration. RESULTS: Using either the HPDS or BTS to inject high-viscosity cement effectively relieved pain and improved the patients’ quality of life immediately, and these effects lasted at least two years. The HPDS using high-viscosity cement reduced cost, surgery time, and radiation exposure and showed similar clinical results to those of the BTS. In addition, the leakage rate and the incidence of adjacent vertebral fractures after the HPDS treatment were reduced compared with those after treatment using the classic vertebroplasty devices. However, the BTS had better height and angle restoration abilities. CONCLUSIONS: The percutaneous HPDS with high-viscosity cement has similar clinical outcomes to those of traditional procedures in the treatment of vertebral fractures in the elderly. The HPDS with high-viscosity cement is better than the BTS in the treatment of mild and moderate OVCFs and could be an alternative method for the treatment of severe OVCFs.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the application of bioabsorbable screws for anterior cervical decompression and bone grafting fixation and to study their clinical effects in the treatment of cervical spondylosis. METHODS: From March 2007 to September 2012, 56 patients, 36 males and 20 females (38-79 years old, average 58.3±9.47 years), underwent a novel operation. Grafts were fixed by bioabsorbable screws (PLLA, 2.7 mm in diameter) after anterior decompression. The bioabsorbable screws were inserted from the midline of the graft bone to the bone surface of the upper and lower vertebrae at 45 degree angles. Patients were evaluated post-operatively to observe the improvement of symptoms and evaluate the fusion of the bone. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score was used to evaluate the recovery of neurological functions. RESULTS: All screws were successfully inserted, with no broken screws. The rate of symptom improvement was 87.5%. All of the grafts fused well with no extrusion. The average time for graft fusion was 3.8±0.55 months (range 3-5 months). Three-dimensional reconstruction of CT scans demonstrated that the grafts fused with adjacent vertebrae well and that the screws were absorbed as predicted. The MRI findings showed that the cerebrospinal fluid was unobstructed. No obvious complications appeared in any of the follow-up evaluations. CONCLUSIONS: Cervical spondylosis with one- or two-level involvement can be effectively treated by anterior decompression and bone grafting with bioabsorbable screw fixation. This operative method is safe and can avoid the complications induced by metal implants.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the range of motion and stability of the human cadaveric cervical spine after the implantation of a novel artificial disc and vertebra system by comparing an intact group and a fusion group. METHODS: Biomechanical tests were conducted on 18 human cadaveric cervical specimens. The range of motion and the stability index range of motion were measured to study the function and stability of the artificial disc and vertebra system of the intact group compared with the fusion group. RESULTS: In all cases, the artificial disc and vertebra system maintained intervertebral motion and reestablished vertebral height at the operative level. After its implantation, there was no significant difference in the range of motion (ROM) of C3-7 in all directions in the non-fusion group compared with the intact group (p>0.05), but significant differences were detected in flexion, extension and axial rotation compared with the fusion group (p<0.05). The ROM of adjacent segments (C3-4, C6-7) of the non-fusion group decreased significantly in some directions compared with the fusion group (p<0.05). Significant differences in the C4-6 ROM in some directions were detected between the non-fusion group and the intact group. In the fusion group, the C4-6 ROM in all directions decreased significantly compared with the intact and non-fusion groups (p<0.01). The stability index ROM (SI-ROM) of some directions was negative in the non-fusion group, and a significant difference in SI-ROM was only found in the C4-6 segment of the non-fusion group compared with the fusion group. CONCLUSION: An artificial disc and vertebra system could restore vertebral height and preserve the dynamic function of the surgical area and could theoretically reduce the risk of adjacent segment degeneration compared with the anterior fusion procedure. However, our results should be considered with caution because of the low power of the study. The use of a larger sample should be considered in future studies.