Effect of different inner core diameters on structural strength of cannulated pedicle screws under various lumbar spine movements
The Dynesys dynamics stabilisation system was developed to maintain the mobility of motion segment of the lumbar spine in order to reduce the incidence of negative effects at the adjacent segments. However, the magnitude of cord pretension may change the stiffness of the Dynesys system and result in a diverse clinical outcome, and the effects of Dynesys cord pretension remain unclear. Displacement-controlled finite element analysis was used to evaluate the biomechanical behaviour of the lumbar spine after insertion of Dynesys with three different cord pretensions. For the implanted level, increasing the cord pretension from 100 to 300 N resulted in an increase in flexion stiffness from 19.0 to 64.5 Nm/deg, a marked increase in facet contact force (FCF) of 35% in extension and 32% in torsion, a 40% increase of the annulus stress in torsion, and an increase in the high-stress region of the pedicle screw in flexion and lateral bending. For the adjacent levels, varying the cord pretension from 100 to 300 N only had a minor influence on range of motion (ROM), FCF, and annulus stress, with changes of 6, 12, and 9%, respectively. This study found that alteration of cord pretension affects the ROM and FCF, and annulus stress within the construct but not the adjacent segment. In addition, use of a 300 N cord pretension causes a much higher stiffness at the implanted level when compared with the intact lumbar spine.