Title

Biomechanical evaluation of posterior thoracic transpedicular discectomy Laboratory investigation

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Object. The authors investigated the biomechanical properties of transpedicular discectomy in the thoracic spine and compared the effects on spinal stability of a partial and total facetectomy. Methods. Human thoracic specimens were tested while intact, after a transpedicular discectomy with partial facetectomy, and after an additional total facetectomy was incorporated. Nonconstraining pure moments were applied under load control (maximum 7.5 Nm) to induce flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation while spinal motion was measured at T8-9 optoelectronically. The range of motion (ROM) and lax zone were determined in each specimen and compared among conditions. Results. Transpedicular discectomy with and without a total facetectomy significantly increased the ROM and lax zone in all directions of loading compared with the intact spine (p < 0.008). The segmental increase in ROM observed with the transpedicular discectomy was 25%. The additional total facetectomy created an insignificant 3% further increase in ROM compared with medial facetectomy (p > 0.2). Conclusions. Transpedicular discectomy can be performed in the thoracic spine with a modest decrease in stability expected. Because the biomechanical behavior of a total facetectomy is equivalent to that of a medial facetectomy, the additional facet removal may be incorporated without further biomechanical consequences.

Publication Date

8-1-2010

Publication Title

Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

ISSN

15475654

E-ISSN

15475646

Volume

13

Issue

2

First Page

253

Last Page

259

PubMed ID

20672963

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.3171/2010.3.SPINE09432

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