Biomechanical analysis of bone mineral density, insertion technique, screw torque, and holding strength of anterior cervical plate screws Article (Web of Science)


  • ✓ The bone mineral density (BMD) of 99 cadaveric cervical vertebral bodies (C3–7) was determined using dual x-ray absorptiometry. The vertebral bodies were randomly assigned to receive either a unicortical (51 bodies) or bicortical (48 bodies) Caspar cervical plating screw. The initial insertion torque was measured using a digital electronic torque wrench, and the force required to withdraw the screw from the vertebral body was determined. The mean BMD for the total group of 99 was 0.787 ± 0.154 g/cm2, the mean insertion torque was 0.367 ± 0.243 newton-meters, and the mean pullout force was 210.4 ± 158.1 newtons. A significant correlation was noted between BMD and torque (p < 0.0001, r = 0.42), BMD and pullout force (p < 0.0001, r = 0.54), and torque and pullout force (p < 0.0001, r = 0.88). Although the BMD of the unicortical and bicortical groups was equivalent (p = 0.92), the insertion torque and pullout force differed significantly (p = 0.02 and p = 0.008, respectively) for the unicortical and bicortical groups. A holding index for each screw and insertion technique was defined as the product of the BMD and insertion torque. The calculated holding index and resultant pullout force were significantly correlated for both techniques of screw insertion (r = 0.92), and a significant difference in holding index was observed with unicortical versus bicortical screw placement (p = 0.04). The determination of BMD and measurement of insertion torque to create a unique holding index provides an assessment of bone—screw interaction and holding strength of the screw, both of which impact on the resultant stability of cervical instrumentation. As the number of cervical plating systems increases, the determination of a holding index for various screws and insertion techniques may assist in the comparison of cervical instrumentation.


  • Ryken, Timothy C.
  • Clausen, John D.
  • Traynelis, Vincent C.
  • Goel, Vijay K

publication date

  • 1995

published in

number of pages

  • 5

start page

  • 324

end page

  • 329


  • 83


  • 2