Intravertebral body reconstruction with an injectable in situ-setting carbonated apatite: biomechanical evaluation of a minimally invasive technique

J Orthop Res. 1999 Jan;17(1):67-72. doi: 10.1002/jor.1100170111.


The ability to mechanically reinforce an osteoporotic vertebral body could impede spinal compression fracture and the associated pain and complications. Previous studies have shown that reinforcement of fractured vertebrae with conventional acrylic cement can relieve symptoms and avoid further collapse. In this study, we explored the use of a carbonated apatite cement combined with a minimally invasive injection technique to improve the compressive mechanical properties of cadaveric vertebral bodies. After establishing the biomechanical characteristics of cement formulations intended to have appropriate viscosities, we evaluated the infiltration of the cements into thoracic vertebral bodies using a combined suction-injection technique. The energy-absorption capabilities of the reinforced vertebral bodies were then measured during axial compressive tests and compared with those of nonreinforced vertebrae. The ultimate compressive strength of the cement formulations averaged from 11.6 to 17.7 MPa, depending on curing conditions. The suction-injection technique allowed from one-half to two-thirds of each vertebral body to be infiltrated with cement. Energy absorption was significantly higher (p < 0.05) between 25 and 70% collapse of the vertebral body in the specimens that received the apatite injection as compared with the controls. These results suggest that osteoporotic vertebral-body augmentation with the injection of apatite cement could prevent further collapse after initial failure has occurred. The osteoconductive nature of the cement and its ability to be remodeled by bone, together with its compressive strength, which is higher than that of cancellous bone, could provide better clinical results than those of current treatments with acrylic cement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apatites / therapeutic use*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Cements / therapeutic use*
  • Cadaver
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osseointegration
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Pressure
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / drug effects*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Apatites
  • Bone Cements