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Ex vivo study of the intradiskal pressure in the C6-7 intervertebral disk after experimental destabilization and distraction-fusion of the C5-C6 vertebrae in canine cadaveric specimens

Sebastian C. Knell Dr Med Vet1, Brian Park PhD1, Benjamin Voumard MSc2, and Antonio Pozzi DVM, MS1
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  • 1 From the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
  • | 2 Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate intradiskal pressure (IDP) in the C6-7 intervertebral disk (IVD) after destabilization and distraction-fusion of the C5-C6 vertebrae.

SAMPLE

7 cadaveric C4-T1 vertebral specimens with no evidence of IVD disease from large-breed dogs.

PROCEDURES

Specimens were mounted in a custom-made 6 degrees of freedom spinal loading simulator so the C5-C6 and C6-C7 segments remained mobile. One specimen remained untreated and was used to assess the repeatability of the IDP measurement protocol. Six specimens underwent 3 sequential configurations (untreated, partial diskectomy of the C5-6 IVD, and distraction-fusion of the C5-C6 vertebrae). Each construct was biomechanically tested under neutral, flexion, extension, and right-lateral bending loads. The IDP was measured with a pressure transducer inserted into the C6-7 IVD and compared between the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus and across all 3 constructs and 4 loads.

RESULTS

Compared with untreated constructs, partial diskectomy and distraction-fusion of C5-C6 decreased the mean ± SD IDP in the C6-7 IVD by 1.3 ± 1.3% and 0.8 ± 1.3%, respectively. During motion, the IDP remained fairly constant in the annulus fibrosus and increased by 3.8 ± 3.0% in the nucleus pulposus. The increase in IDP within the nucleus pulposus was numerically greatest during flexion but did not differ significantly among loading conditions.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Distraction-fusion of C5-C6 did not significantly alter the IDP of healthy C6-7 IVDs. Effects of vertebral distraction-fusion on the IDP of adjacent IVDs with degenerative changes, such as those in dogs with caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy, warrant investigation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate intradiskal pressure (IDP) in the C6-7 intervertebral disk (IVD) after destabilization and distraction-fusion of the C5-C6 vertebrae.

SAMPLE

7 cadaveric C4-T1 vertebral specimens with no evidence of IVD disease from large-breed dogs.

PROCEDURES

Specimens were mounted in a custom-made 6 degrees of freedom spinal loading simulator so the C5-C6 and C6-C7 segments remained mobile. One specimen remained untreated and was used to assess the repeatability of the IDP measurement protocol. Six specimens underwent 3 sequential configurations (untreated, partial diskectomy of the C5-6 IVD, and distraction-fusion of the C5-C6 vertebrae). Each construct was biomechanically tested under neutral, flexion, extension, and right-lateral bending loads. The IDP was measured with a pressure transducer inserted into the C6-7 IVD and compared between the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus and across all 3 constructs and 4 loads.

RESULTS

Compared with untreated constructs, partial diskectomy and distraction-fusion of C5-C6 decreased the mean ± SD IDP in the C6-7 IVD by 1.3 ± 1.3% and 0.8 ± 1.3%, respectively. During motion, the IDP remained fairly constant in the annulus fibrosus and increased by 3.8 ± 3.0% in the nucleus pulposus. The increase in IDP within the nucleus pulposus was numerically greatest during flexion but did not differ significantly among loading conditions.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Distraction-fusion of C5-C6 did not significantly alter the IDP of healthy C6-7 IVDs. Effects of vertebral distraction-fusion on the IDP of adjacent IVDs with degenerative changes, such as those in dogs with caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy, warrant investigation.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Knell (sknell@vetclinics.uzh.ch).