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23.12.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 8/2017

European Spine Journal 8/2017

Three-dimensional micro-computed tomography analysis for spinal instability after lumbar facetectomy in the rat

Zeitschrift:
European Spine Journal > Ausgabe 8/2017
Autoren:
Daisuke Fukui, Mamoru Kawakami, Kevin Cheng, Koichiro Murata, Keianne Yamada, Rinoka Sato, Munehito Yoshida, Hiroshi Yamada, Nozomu Inoue, Koichi Masuda

Abstract

Purpose

Intervertebral disc degeneration is thought to contribute to low back pain. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms remain controversial. In a previous study, we developed an animal model that showed delayed gait disturbance after lumbar facetectomy in the rat. We believe that this gait disturbance was caused by low back pain, although the mechanisms of this gait abnormality remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate structural changes of the lumbar spine after facetectomy in the rat utilizing three-dimensional micro-computed tomography (3DμCT) compared to histology.

Methods

Thirty male SD rats were divided into three groups. In the Sham group (n = 13), only exposure of bilateral facet joints at the L4–5 level was performed. In the Experimental group (n = 13), complete resection of bilateral L4–5 facet joints was achieved. Naïve rats (n = 4) were used for controls. At 7-week postoperative, 3DµCT and histological analyses were performed.

Results

On 3DµCT images, increased disc height and endplate irregularities at the L4–5 segment and decreased disc height at adjacent segments were observed in the Experimental group. Histological scores were also higher in the Experimental group than the Sham Group.

Conclusions

Degenerative changes were observed at the facetectomy level. These may correspond with the previously reported delayed gait disturbance after facetectomy. This animal model may be useful to create mechanically induced disc degeneration without direct tissue damage to the disc.

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