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Biomechanical evaluation of the Facet Wedge: a refined technique for facet fixation

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Purpose of this paper is to evaluate the primary stability of a new approach for facet fixation the so-called Facet Wedge (FW) in comparison with established posterior fixation techniques like pedicle screws (PS) and translaminar facet screws (TLS) with and without anterior cage interposition.


Twenty-four monosegmental fresh frozen non-osteoporotic human motion segments (L2–L3 and L4–L5) were tested in a two-arm biomechanical study using a robot-based spine tester. Facet Wedge was compared with pedicle screws and translaminar screws as a stand-alone device and in combination with an anterior fusion cage.


Pedicle screws, FW and translaminar screws could stabilize an intact motion segment effectively. Facet Wedge was comparable to PS for lateral bending, extension and flexion and slightly superior for axial rotation. Facet Wedge showed a superior kinematic capacity compared to translaminar screws.


Facet Wedge offers a novel posterior approach in achieving primary stability in lumbar spinal fixation. The results of the present study showed that the Facet Wedge has a comparable primary stability to pedicle screws and potential advantages over translaminar screws.

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The authors would like to thank Synthes AG (Switzerland) for financial and material support, the German Society of Arthroscopy (AGA) for technical support, and Raquel Billiones for her support in editing this article.

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Correspondence to René Hartensuer.

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Hartensuer, R., Riesenbeck, O., Schulze, M. et al. Biomechanical evaluation of the Facet Wedge: a refined technique for facet fixation. Eur Spine J 23, 2321–2329 (2014).

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