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Accuracy of pedicle screw insertion: A prospective CT study in 30 low back patients

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A prospective study of the accuracy of titanium pedicle screw placement in 30 low back operations was performed. The postoperative plain radiographs and CT reformation images were evaluated by two independent radiologists. Thirty-two out of 152 screws (21%) perforated the pedicle cortex. One-tenth of the perforations was detected with conventional radiography. In ten patients (33%) all the screws were located within the pedicle. The clinical significance of this study lies in the finding that pedicle perforations are more frequent than is generally believed and that, in spite of the many malplacements, no screw that perforated by less than 4.0 mm caused neurological problems. Only one nerve root lesion was detected.

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Laine, T., Mäkitalo, K., Schlenzka, D. et al. Accuracy of pedicle screw insertion: A prospective CT study in 30 low back patients. Eur Spine J 6, 402–405 (1997).

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