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Applications of memory alloy stent in vertebral fractures

Yang Yimin, Zhang Zhi, Ren ZhiWei, Ma Wei, Rajiv Kumar Jha

(Department of Orthopedics, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2014; 20:76-81

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.890835


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of treating vertebral compression fractures using an autonomously developed nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent.
Material and Methods: Thoracolumbar vertebral specimens from adult human cadavers were made into models of compression fractures. The models were divided into group A, which received percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), balloon dilation, and nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent implantation (PKP + nitinol stent group); group B, which received percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) and direct implantation of a nitinol memory alloy vertebral stent (PVP + nitinol stent group); and group C, which received PKP, balloon dilation, and bone cement vertebroplasty (PKP + polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) group). Vertebral heights were measured before and after the surgery and the water bath incubation to compare the impact of the 3 different surgical approaches on reducing vertebral compression.
Results: The 3 surgical groups could all significantly restore the heights of compressed vertebral bodies. The vertebral heights of the PKP + nitinol stent group, PVP + nitinol stent group, and PKP + PMMA group were changed from the preoperative levels of (1.59±0.08) cm, (1.68±0.08) cm, and (1.66±0.11) cm to the postoperative levels of (2.00±0.09) cm, (1.87±0.04) cm, and (1.99±0.09) cm, respectively. After the water bath, the vertebral heights of each group were changed to (2.10±0.07) cm, (1.98±0.09) cm, and (2.00±0.10) cm, respectively. Pairwise comparison of the differences between the preoperative and postoperative vertebral heights showed that group A and group B differed significantly (P=0.000); group B and group C differed significantly (P=0.003); and group A and group C had no significant difference (P=0.172). Pairwise comparison of the differences in the vertebral heights before and after the water bath showed that group A and group C differed significantly (P=0.000); group B and group C differed significantly (P=0.000); and group A and group B had no significant difference (P=0.157).
Conclusions: The nitinol memory alloy stents can effectively support and reduce the compression of vertebral endplates and can be used to treat vertebral compression fractures without neurological symptoms.

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