An FE investigation simulating intra-operative corrective forces applied to correct scoliosis deformity

Little, J. Paige, Izatt, Maree T., Labrom, Robert D., Askin, Geoffrey N., & Adam, Clayton J. (2013) An FE investigation simulating intra-operative corrective forces applied to correct scoliosis deformity. Scoliosis, 8(9).

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Background: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a deformity of the spine, which may 34 require surgical correction by attaching a rod to the patient’s spine using screws 35 implanted in the vertebral bodies. Surgeons achieve an intra-operative reduction in the 36 deformity by applying compressive forces across the intervertebral disc spaces while 37 they secure the rod to the vertebra. We were interested to understand how the 38 deformity correction is influenced by increasing magnitudes of surgical corrective forces 39 and what tissue level stresses are predicted at the vertebral endplates due to the 40 surgical correction. 41

Methods: Patient-specific finite element models of the osseoligamentous spine and 42 ribcage of eight AIS patients who underwent single rod anterior scoliosis surgery were 43 created using pre-operative computed tomography (CT) scans. The surgically altered 44 spine, including titanium rod and vertebral screws, was simulated. The models were 45 analysed using data for intra-operatively measured compressive forces – three load 46 profiles representing the mean and upper and lower standard deviation of this data 47 were analysed. Data for the clinically observed deformity correction (Cobb angle) were 48 compared with the model-predicted correction and the model results investigated to 49 better understand the influence of increased compressive forces on the biomechanics of 50 the instrumented joints. 51

Results: The predicted corrected Cobb angle for seven of the eight FE models were 52 within the 5° clinical Cobb measurement variability for at least one of the force profiles. 53 The largest portion of overall correction was predicted at or near the apical 54 intervertebral disc for all load profiles. Model predictions for four of the eight patients 55 showed endplate-to-endplate contact was occurring on adjacent endplates of one or 56 more intervertebral disc spaces in the instrumented curve following the surgical loading 57 steps. 58

Conclusion: This study demonstrated there is a direct relationship between intra-59 operative joint compressive forces and the degree of deformity correction achieved. The 60 majority of the deformity correction will occur at or in adjacent spinal levels to the apex 61 of the deformity. This study highlighted the importance of the intervertebral disc space 62 anatomy in governing the coronal plane deformity correction and the limit of this 63 correction will be when bone-to-bone contact of the opposing vertebral endplates 64 occurs.

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ID Code: 59948
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: scoliosis, finite element, surgical forces, correction
DOI: 10.1186/1748-7161-8-9
ISSN: 1748-7161
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)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400) > Paediatrics (111403)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 the authors; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Deposited On: 13 May 2013 22:40
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2017 21:34

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