Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Biomechanical comparison of different combinations of hook and screw in one spine motion unit - an experiment in porcine model

Ching-Lung Tai1, Li-Huei Chen2, De-Mei Lee1, Mu-Yi Liu1 and Po-Liang Lai2*

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:197  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-197

Published: 9 June 2014



The biomechanical performance of the hooks and screws in spinal posterior instrumentation is not well-characterized. Screw-bone interface failure at the uppermost and lowermost vertebrae is not uncommon. Some have advocated for the use of supplement hooks to prevent screw loosening. However, studies describing methods for combined hook and screw systems that fully address the benefits of these systems are lacking. Thus, the choice of which implant to use in a given case is often based solely on a surgeon’s experience instead of on the biomechanical features and advantages of each device.


We conducted a biomechanical comparison of devices instrumented with different combinations of hooks and screws. Thirty-six fresh low thoracic porcine spines were assigned to three groups (12 per group) according to the configuration used for of fixation: (1) pedicle screw; (2) lamina hook and (3) combination of pedicle screw and lamina hook. Axial pullout tests backward on transverse plane in the direction normal to the rods were performed using a material testing machine and a specially designed grip with self-aligned function.


The pullout force for the pedicle screws group was significantly greater than for the hooks and the combination (p < 0.05). However, no significant difference was found between the hooks and the combination (p > 0.05).


Pedicle screws achieve the maximal pullout strength for spinal posterior instrumentation.

Pedicle screw; Lamina hook; Biomechanical study; Porcine model