J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2020 Oct;55(5):405-410. 10.4055/jkoa.2020.55.5.405.

Early Failure of Cortical-Bone Screw Fixation in the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea


Pedicle screw insertion has been traditionally used as a surgical treatment for degenerative lumbar spine disease. As an alternative, the cortical-bone trajectory screw allows less invasive posterior lumbar fixation and excellent mechanical stability, as reported in several biomechanical studies. This study evaluated the clinical and radiological results of a case of early failure of cortical-bone screw fixation in posterior fixation and union after posterior decompression.
Materials and Methods
This study examined 311 patients who underwent surgical treatment from 2013 to 2018 using cortical orbital screws as an alternative to traditional pedicle screw fixation for degenerative spinal stenosis and anterior spine dislocation of the lumbar spine. Early fixation failure after surgery was defined as fixation failure, such as loosening, pull-out, and breakage of the screw on computed tomography (CT) and radiographs at a follow-up of six months.
Early fixation failure occurred in 46 out of 311 cases (14.8%), screw loosening in 46 cases (14.8%), pull-out in 12 cases (3.9%), and breakage in four cases (1.3%). An analysis of the site where the fixation failure occurred revealed the following, L1 in seven cases (15.2%), L2 in three cases (6.5%), L3 in four cases (8.7%), L4 in four cases (8.7%), L5 in four cases (8.7%), and S1 in 24 cases (52.2%). Among the distal cortical bone screws, fixation failures such as loosening, pull-out, and breakage occurred mainly in the S1 screws.
Cortical-bone trajectory screw fixation may be an alternative with comparable clinical outcomes or fewer complications compared to conventional pedicle screw fixation. On the other hand, in case with osteoporosis and no anterior support structure particularly at L5-S1 fusion sites were observed to have result of premature fixation failures such as relaxation, pull-out, and breakage.


early failure; cortical trajectory bone screw; pedicle screws; lumbar spinal stenosis
Full Text Links
  • JKOA
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
    DB Error: unknown error