Lumbar intradiscal pressure after posterolateral fusion and pedicle screw fixation.

E. Abe, T. Nickel, G. R. Buttermann, J. L. Lewis, E. E. Transfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In vitro biomechanical testing was performed in single-functional spinal units of fresh calf lumbar spines, using pressure needle transducers to investigate the effect of posterolateral fusion (PLF) and pedicle screw constructs (PS) on intradiscal pressure (IDP), in order to elucidate the mechanical factors concerned with residual low back pain after PLF. IDP of 6 calf lumbar spines consisting of L4 and L5 vertebrae and an intervening disc was measured under axial compression, flexion-extension and lateral bending in the intact spine, PS, PLF and the destabilized spine. Relative to the intact spines, the destabilized spines showed increased IDP in all of lordings and moments. IDP under PS and PLF were significantly decreased in axial compression, extension and lateral bending loads (p<0.05). In flexion, IDP under PS and PLF increased linearly proportional to the magnitude of flexion moment and reached as high as IDP of the intact spines. These results demonstrated that despite an increase in the stiffness of motion segments after PLF and PS, significant high disc pressure is still generated in flexion. Flexibility of PS and PLF may cause increased axial load sharing of the disc in flexion and increased IDP. This high IDP may explain patients' persisting pain following PS and PLF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalThe Tohoku journal of experimental medicine
Volume186
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1998

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