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Biomechanical Alterations In Intact Osteoporotic Spine Due To Synthetic Augmentation: Finite Element Investigation

Kathryn B. Higgins, David R. Sindall, Alberto M. Cuitino, Noshir A. Langrana

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A three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model (FEM) was developed for a parametric study that examined the effect of synthetic augmentation on nonfractured vertebrae. The objective was to isolate those parameters primarily responsible for the effectiveness of the procedure; bone cement volume and bone density were expected to be highly important. Injection of bone cement was simulated in the FEM of a vertebral body that included a cellular model for the trabecular core. The addition of 10% and 20% cement by volume resulted in an increase in failure load, and the larger volume resulted in an increase in stiffness for the vertebral body. Placement of cement within the vertebral body was not as critical a parameter as cement amount. Simulated models of very poor bone quality saw the best therapeutic benefits.