Pull-out force and insertion torque have not been generally used as intraoperative measures for the evaluation of pedicle screw stability because of their invasiveness. On the other hand, resonance frequency analysis is a non-invasive and repeatable technique that has been clinically used in dentistry to evaluate implant stability e.g. by the Osstell apparatus. In this study, the characteristics of the implant stability quotient (ISQ) value obtained by the Osstell apparatus in the field of spinal surgery were investigated. Biomechanical test materials simulating human bone were used to provide a comparative platform for evaluating each fixation strength measure, including pull-out force, insertion torque, and the ISQ value. To perform pull-out force measurement and to repeat pedicle screw insertion and removal, loosening was artificially created, and its effect was investigated. The grade of loosening was quantified on a micro-CT image after pedicle screw removal. In the comparison of the 3 fixation strength measures, the correlations of the ISQ value with the pull-out force (R 2 = 0.339 p <0.0001) and the insertion torque (R 2 = 0.337 p <0.0001) were lower than the correlation between pull-out force and insertion torque (R 2 = 0.918 p <0.0001). On a micro-CT study, the material volume of the internal threads disappeared after destruction of its integrity due to repeated pedicle screw insertion and removal. Material integrity destruction of the internal threads decreased only the pull-out force and the insertion torque, but it did not affect the ISQ value. The ISQ value only decreased when the material volume of the internal threads disappeared, probably because the ISQ value reflects the resistance against a force in the perpendicular direction of the screw, unlike the conventional measures of fixation strength, such as pull-out force and insertion torque, which reflect axial load.
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