The measurement of applied forces during anterior single rod surgical correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Fairhurst , Helen, Little, J. Paige, & Adam, Clayton J. (2011) The measurement of applied forces during anterior single rod surgical correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. In Stanford, Ralph (Ed.) Conference Proceedings of the Spine Society of Australia 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting 2011, Melbourne, Australia.


INTRODUCTION. Following anterior thoracoscopic instrumentation and fusion for the treatment of thoracic AIS, implant related complications have been reported as high as 20.8%. Currently the magnitudes of the forces applied to the spine during anterior scoliosis surgery are unknown. The aim of this study was to measure the segmental compressive forces applied during anterior single rod instrumentation in a series of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients. METHODS. A force transducer was designed, constructed and retrofitted to a surgical cable compression tool, routinely used to apply segmental compression during anterior scoliosis correction. Transducer output was continuously logged during the compression of each spinal joint, the output at completion converted to an applied compression force using calibration data. The angle between adjacent vertebral body screws was also measured on intra-operative frontal plane fluoroscope images taken both before and after each joint compression. The difference in angle between the two images was calculated as an estimate for the achieved correction at each spinal joint. RESULTS. Force measurements were obtained for 15 scoliosis patients (Aged 11-19 years) with single thoracic curves (Cobb angles 47˚- 67˚). In total, 95 spinal joints were instrumented. The average force applied for a single joint was 540 N (± 229 N)ranging between 88 N and 1018 N. Experimental error in the force measurement, determined from transducer calibration was ± 43 N. A trend for higher forces applied at joints close to the apex of the scoliosis was observed. The average joint correction angle measured by fluoroscope imaging was 4.8˚ (±2.6˚, range 0˚-12.6˚). CONCLUSION. This study has quantified in-vivo, the intra-operative correction forces applied by the surgeon during anterior single rod instrumentation. This data provides a useful contribution towards an improved understanding of the biomechanics of scoliosis correction. In particular, this data will be used as input for developing patient-specific finite element simulations of scoliosis correction surgery.

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ID Code: 42238
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: applied forces to the spine, anterior scoliosis surgery, segmental compression forces, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, thoracoscopic anterior scoliosis surgery
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The authors.
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2011 00:48
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2014 23:16

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