The study aim was to develop and apply an experimental technique to determine the biomechanical effect of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and calcium phosphate (CaP) cement on the stiffness and strength of augmented vertebrae following traumatic fracture. Twelve burst type fractures were generated in porcine three-vertebra segments. The specimens were randomly split into two groups (n=6), imaged using microCT and tested under axial loading. The two groups of fractured specimens underwent a vertebroplasty procedure, one group was augmented with CaP cement designed and developed at Queen's University Belfast. The other group was augmented with PMMA cement (WHW Plastics, Hull, UK). The specimens were imaged and re-tested . An intact single vertebra specimen group (n=12) was also imaged and tested under axial loading. A significant decrease (p<0.01) was found between the stiffness of the fractured and intact groups, demonstrating that the fractures generated were sufficiently severe, to adversely affect mechanical behaviour. Significant increase (p<0.01) in failure load was found for the specimen group augmented with the PMMA cement compared to the pre-augmentation group, conversely, no significant increase (p<0.01) was found in the failure load of the specimens augmented with CaP cement, this is attributed to the significantly (p<0.05) lower volume of CaP cement that was successfully injected into the fracture, compared to the PMMA cement. The effect of the percentage of cement fracture fill, cement modulus on the specimen stiffness and ultimate failure load could be investigated further by using the methods developed within this study to test a more injectable CaP cement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering