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Introduction: Restoration of vertebral height for burst fractures can be achieved either anteriorly, posteriorly or combined.

Aim: To biomechanically assess and compare stiffness of 1) posterior pedicle screws with Synex, 2) Synex+ Double screw+rod Ventrofix 3) Synex+ Double screw+ Single rod and 4) Synex+ Single screw+ Single rod in reconstructing an unstable burst fracture following anterior corpectomy.

Method: Fresh frozen calf lumbar spines (L3–L5) were dissected and L4 corpectomy performed. L3 and L5 were mounted on a plate and fixed. Loads were applied as a dead weight of 2Nm. The range of movement was measured using the Qualisys motion analysis system using external marker clusters attached to L3 and L5. Bony landmarks were identified with marker clusters as baseline. The movement was measured between the 2 marker clusters.

Five specimens were implanted for each group 1) with pedicle screw (into L3 and L5) and tested with/without Synex (expandable) cage anteriorly, 2) implanted with a Synex cage and Double screw+rod Ventrofix system, 3) Synex cage and Double screw+ Single rod Ventrofix construct and 4) Synex cage and Single screw+ Single rod Ventrofix system.

Results: Reconstruction of the anterior column with the combination of Synex and double rod Ventrofix produces a stiffer construct than the pedicle screw system in all planes of movement (p= 0.001 in rotation).

The double screw/ single rod system is less effective than the Ventrofix System but is comparable to the pedicle screw construct.

The single screw/ single rod construct leads to unacceptable movement about the axis of the inferior screw particularly in extension with a ROM much greater than the intact spine (p< 0.001)

Conclusion: Thus biomechanically we recommend Synex and double rod Ventrofix construct to reconstruct the anterior vertebral column following corpectomy for unstable burst fractures.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Sue Woodward, Secreteriat, Britspine, Vale Clinic, Hensol Park, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY Wales.