OBJECTIVE To assess effects of vertebral distraction-fusion techniques at a treated segment (C5-C6) and an adjacent segment (C4-C5) of canine cervical vertebrae.
SAMPLE Cervical vertebrae harvested from cadavers of 10 skeletally mature Beagles.
PROCEDURES Three models (intact, titanium plate, and polymethylmethacrylate [PM MA]) for stabilization of the caudal region of the cervical vertebrae (C4 through C7) were applied to the C5-C6 vertebral segment sequentially on the same specimens. Biomechanical assessments with flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotational tests were conducted after each procedure. Range of motion (ROM) for a torque load applied with a 6-axis material tester was measured at C4-5 and C5-6 and calculated by use of a 3-D video measurement system.
RESULTS In both the plate and PMMA models, ROM significantly increased at C4-5 and significantly decreased at C5-6, compared with results for the intact model. The ROM at C5-6 was significantly lower for the plate model versus the PMMA model in lateral bending and for the PMMA model versus the plate model in axial rotation. Conversely, ROM at C4-5 was significantly higher in axial rotation for the PMMA model versus the plate model. No significant differences were identified in flexion-extension between the PMMA and plate models at either site.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study suggested that vertebral distraction and fusion of canine vertebrae can change the mechanical environment at, and may cause disorders in, the adjacent segment. Additionally, findings suggested that effects on the adjacent segment differed on the basis of the fusion method used.