Biomechanical comparison of a novel multilevel hex-head pedicle screw design with a conventional head design

Qi Liu, Donald R. Olson, Frederick W. Tiley, Marie Shea, Matt Smits, Robert A. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The objective of the study was to determine the biomechanical effect during insertion of multilevel hex-head design pedicle screws compared to a conventional screw-head design. Eighteen lumbar vertebrae and thoracic vertebrae from human cadavers were instrumented with a novel, multilevel hexagonal head pedicle screw on one side and a conventional head pedicle screw on the contralateral side. Screws were inserted at a constant rate and insertion and removal torques were recorded. A further 14 lumbar and thoracic vertebrae were used to test alterability of screw direction and operational effort required. Electromagnetic sensors recorded the change in angular direction for both screw and screwdriver. The force applied through the insertion screwdriver required to produce the directional change was also recorded. No significant differences were found between the two screw types for insertion or removal torque in either lumbar or thoracic vertebrae. Multilevel hex-head screws had significantly greater directional alterability than conventional head screws in both lumbar and thoracic specimens. Multilevel hex-head screws also required less force applied through the screwdriver than conventional screws to alter direction of screw insertion in both lumbar and thoracic specimens. The multilevel hex-head design did not affect the insertion or removal torque in comparison to a conventional head design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1120
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Biomechanical comparison
  • Conventional head design
  • Hex-head screws

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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