Effects of pre-contoured and in situ contoured rods on the mechanical strength and durability of posterior cervical instrumentation: a finite-element analysis and scanning electron microscopy investigation

Kee D. Kim, Ripul R Panchal, Mark Moldavsky, Wenhai Wang, Brandon S. Bucklen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study design: Finite-element analysis. Objectives: Intraoperative contouring of rods is a common procedure for spine surgeons to match the native curvature of the spine, but it may lead to premature weakening of the rod. This study investigated the effect of different bending methods on rod fatigue performance. Summary of background data: Rod failure in the cervical spine is of clinical concern, particularly when spanning the cervicothoracic region and when considering corrective osteotomies for deformity correction and global spinal alignment. Methods: Finite-element models were developed to simulate rod bending (3.5 mm D, 40 mm L) to achieve a 23° angle with 3 different bending methods: French single, multiple bending, and in situ bending. Simulations were conducted in 4 steps: rod bending, rod spring back, residual stress relaxation, and F1717 mechanical test simulation. Results: French single bending resulted in the highest residual stress concentrations for both titanium (TiAlV) and cobalt chrome (CoCr) at 783 MPa and 507 MPa, respectively. During F1717 test simulation, the French single bent rod had its highest tensile stress in the middle, with 917 MPa and 623 MPa, respectively, for TiAlV and CoCr, compared to in situ (580 MPa and 586 MPa for TiAlV and CoCr) and the French multiple bent rod (765 MPa and 619 MPa for TiAlV and CoCr). The computational model found that CoCr rods made the construct least prone to deformation. Conclusions: French single bend with TiAlV rods put the construct at highest risk of failure. CoCr rods led to minimal physical changes in microstructure while showing evidence of flattening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpine deformity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cervicothoracic
  • Finite element analysis
  • Rod contouring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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