Objective: To improve pedicle screw placement accuracy with minimal radiation and low cost, we developed specially designed K-wire with a marker. To evaluate the accuracy of thoracolumbar pedicle screws placed using the novel guide-pin and portable X-rays. Methods: Observational cohort study with computerized tomography (CT) analysis of in vivo and in vitro pedicle screw placement. Postoperative CT scans of 183 titanium pedicle screws (85 lumbar and 98 thoracic from T1 to L5) placed into 2 cadavers and 18 patients were assessed. A specially designed guide-pin with a marker was inserted into the pedicle to identify the correct starting point (2 mm lateral to the center of the pedicle) and aiming point (center of the pedicle isthmus) in posteroanterior and lateral X-rays. After radiographically confirming the exact starting and aiming points desired, a gearshift was inserted into the pedicle from the starting point into the vertebral body through the center of pedicle isthmus. Results: Ninety-nine percent (181/183) of screws were contained within the pedicle (total 183 pedicle screws: 98 thoracic pedicle screws and 85 lumbar screws). Only two of 183 (1.0%) thoracic pedicle screws demonstrated breach (1 lateral in a patient and 1 medial in a cadaver specimen). None of the pedicle breaches were associated with neurologic or other clinical sequelae. Conclusion: A simple, specially designed guide-pin with portable X-rays can provide correct starting and aiming points and allows for accurate pedicle screw placement without preoperative CT scan and intraoperative fluoroscopic assistance.
- Computerized tomography
- Pedicle screw