Biomechanical comparison of a novel percutaneous transfacet device and a traditional posterior system for single level fusion

Andrew Mahar*, Choll Kim, Richard Oka, Tim Odell, Andrew Perry, Srdjan Mirkovic, Steve Garfin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Posterior spinal fusions are indicated for a variety of spinal disorders. Transfacet fixation minimizes soft tissue disruption and preserves the adjacent facet joint. This technique is uncommon due to concerns with biomechanical stability and proper implant placement. For these reasons, a length adjustable implant may obviate the clinical concerns but necessitates biomechanical study. This study evaluated the in vitro biomechanical stability between a novel transfacet fixation device compared with standard pedicle screws during cyclic physiologic loading in a human cadaveric model. Cadaveric L4-L5 lumbar motion segments from 16 human spines were tested in cyclic flexion/extension, lateral bending, and torsion after insertion of either transfacet fixation devices or 5.5 mm pedicle screw instrumentation. A load cell was used to measure the compressive forces on the anterior column during testing. Motion segment stiffness and anterior column compression were analyzed with a 1-way analysis of variance (P<0.05). The transfacet device demonstrated a statistically similar stiffness when compared with the pedicle screw system for each test direction. For anterior column loading during physiologic testing, there were no biomechanical differences between stabilization systems. Percutaneous transfacet fixation is an attractive surgical option for single-level spinal fusions. A biomechanical evaluation of a novel device for this application demonstrated similar stability to a pedicle screw system. The length adjustability of the device may alleviate concerns for precise device placement and the biomechanical stability may produce similar rates and quality of posterior spinal fusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-594
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Anterior column load
  • Biomechanics
  • Posterior spinal stabilization
  • Spinal fusion
  • Transfacet fixation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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