Spinal pedicle screw fixations have been used extensively to treat fracture, tumor, infection, or degeneration of the spine. Cannulated spinal pedicle screws with bone cement augmentation might be a useful method to ameliorate screw loosening. However, cannulated spinal pedicle screws might also increase the risk of screw breakage. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the bending performance of different spinal pedicle screws with either solid design or cannulated design. Three-dimensional finite element models, which consisted of the spinal pedicle screw and the screw's hosting material, were first constructed. Next, monotonic and cyclic cantilever bending tests were both applied to validate the results of the finite element analyses. Finally, both the numerical and experimental approaches were evaluated and compared. The results indicated that the cylindrical spinal pedicle screws with a cannulated design had significantly poorer bending performance. In addition, conical spinal pedicle screws maintained the original bending performance, whether they were solid or of cannulated design. This study may provide useful recommendations to orthopedic surgeons before surgery, and it may also provide design rationales to biomechanical engineers during the development of spinal pedicle screws.
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