Mechanical variables affecting balloon kyphoplasty outcome - a finite element study

Danè Dabirrahmani*, Stephan Becker, Michael Hogg, Richard Appleyard, Gamal Baroude, Mark Gillies

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    It is still unclear how a vertebral fracture should be stabilised and strengthened without endangering the remaining intact bone of the augmented vertebra or the adjacent vertebrae. Numerical modelling may provide insight. To date, however, few finite element (FE) spine models have been developed which are both multi-segmental and capture a more complete anatomy of the vertebrae. A 3-D, two-functional unit, CT-based, lumbar spine, FE model was developed and used to predict load transfer and likelihood of fracture following balloon kyphoplasty. The fractured anterior wall and injected cement were modelled in a two-functional spinal unit model with osteoporotic bone properties. Parameters investigated included: cement stiffness, cement volume and height restoration. Models were assessed based on stresses and a user-defined fracture-predicting field. Augmentation altered the stress distribution; shielding was dependent on positioning of the cement; and fracture algorithm found incomplete height restoration to increase the likelihood of fracture, particularly in adjacent vertebrae.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-220
    Number of pages10
    JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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