Double insurance transfacetal screws for lumbar spinal stabilization


AIM The authors report experience with 14 cases where two screws or "double insurance" screws were used for transfacetal fixation of each joint for stabilization of the lumbar spinal segment. The anatomical subtleties of the technique of insertion of screws are elaborated. MATERIALS AND METHODS During the period March 2011 to June 2014, 14 patients having lumbar spinal segmental instability related to lumbar canal stenosis were treated by insertion of two screws into each articular assembly by transfacetal technique. After a wide surgical exposure, the articular cartilage was denuded and bone chips were impacted into the joint cavity. For screw insertion in an appropriate angulation, the spinous process was sectioned at its base. The screws (2.8 mm in diameter and 18 mm in length) were inserted into the substance of the medial or inferior articular facet of the rostral vertebra via the lateral limit of the lamina approximately 6-8 mm away from the edge of the articular cavity. The screws were inserted 3 mm below the superior edge and 5 mm above the inferior edge of the medial (inferior) facets and directed laterally and traversed through the articular cavity into the lateral (superior) articular facet of the caudal vertebra toward and into the region of junction of base of transverse process and of the pedicle. During the period of follow-up all treated spinal levels showed firm bone fusion. There was no complication related to insertion of the screws. There was no incidence of screw misplacement, displacementor implant rejection. CONCLUSIONS Screw insertion into the firm and largely cortical bones of facets of lumbar spine can provide robust fixation and firm stabilization of the spinal segment. The large size of the facets provides an opportunity to insert two screws at each spinal segment. The firm and cortical bone material and absence on any neural or vascular structure in the course of the screw traverse provides strength and safety to the process.

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8237.139203

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Goel2014DoubleIT, title={Double insurance transfacetal screws for lumbar spinal stabilization}, author={Atul Goel and Aimee A. Goel and Savni R. Satoskar and Pooja H. Mehta}, booktitle={Journal of craniovertebral junction & spine}, year={2014} }