Objective: Objective: Polyaxial pedicle screws are a safe, useful adjunct to transpedicular fixation. However, the large screw head size can cause soft tissue irritation, high rod positioning, and facet joint injury. However, the mechanical resistance provided by small and low profile pedicle screws is very limited. We therefore developed a novel, low profile pedicle screw using grooving and blasting treatment that is able to resist a high compression bending load.
Methods: We evaluated the compression bending force to displacement and yield loads for seven different screw head types that differed with regard to their groove intervals and whether or not they had been blasted.
Results: The rank order of screw types that had the greatest compression bending force to displacement was as follows: (1) universal polyaxial, (2) low polyaxial with 0.1mm grooves and blasting, (3) low polyaxial with blasting, (4) low polyaxial with 0.15mm grooves and blasting, (5) low polyaxial with 0.05mm grooves and blasting, (6) low polyaxial with 0.05mm grooves, (7) and low polyaxial. Low polyaxial screws with 0.1mm grooves and blasting had the maximum yield load and highest compression bending force to displacement of all seven polyaxial screw head systems evaluated.
Conclusion: Blasting and grooving treatment of pedicle screw heads resulted in screw heads with a high yield load and compression bending force relative to displacement because of increased friction. Low polyaxial pedicle screws with 0.1 mm grooves treated by blasting have mechanical characteristics similar to those of universal polyaxial pedicle screws.