Biomechanical evaluation of kyphoplasty with calcium phosphate cement in a 2-functional spinal unit vertebral compression fracture model

A. Jay Khanna, Samuel Lee, Marta Villarraga, Jonathan Gimbel, Duane Steffey, Jeffrey Schwardt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background context: Kyphoplasty is used to treat vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) by inflating a balloon within the vertebral body (VB) to create a void, thereby reducing the fracture, and then depositing polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) into that void to augment the VB. Calcium phosphate (CaP) may be preferable to PMMA because it is resorbable and nontoxic, although there are concerns about its compressive strength during the setting process. Purpose: To evaluate the ability of a particular self-setting CaP cement to restore the structural integrity of a VCF in a 2-functional spinal unit (2FSU) cadaver model under physiologically relevant loading. Study design/setting: Repeated-measures compressive testing on a cadaver thoracolumbar 2FSU VCF model. Methods: Ten 2FSU thoracolumbar specimens were tested to evaluate structural integrity under compressive loading during initial anterior VCF creation (in the central VB), after fracture, and after kyphoplasty treatment. Bipedicular kyphoplasty treatment was performed in a 37°C chamber to reduce the fracture and create a void, which was filled with CaP (n=5) or PMMA (n=5) and allowed to cure for at least 15 minutes. Using fluoroscopic imaging, the sagittal area of the VB (SAVB), the minimum central VB height (MCVBH), and the wedge angle were measured on the central VB for each condition at a 1,000-N compressive load. A repeated-measures linear model was used to determine if the differences in these parameters among the various experimental conditions were statistically significant (p< .05). Results: Compared with the fractured condition, there was a significant improvement in the SAVB, MCVBH, and wedge angle under a physiologically relevant 1,000-N compressive load applied after kyphoplasty. There was no statistically significant difference between treatment with CaP or PMMA. Conclusions: The structural properties of CaP-augmented VBs are similar to those of PMMA-augmented VBs. Our study indicated that, after at least 15 minutes of setting, a fractured 2FSU specimen treated with kyphoplasty with PMMA or CaP could withstand physiologically relevant loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-777
Number of pages8
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • 2FSU
  • Biomechanics
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Kyphoplasty
  • PMMA
  • Vertebral augmentation
  • Vertebral compression fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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