Load-displacement properties of the normal and injured lower cervical spine in vitro.
The objective of this study was to determine which discoligamentous structures of the lower cervical spine provide significant stability with regard to different loading conditions. Accordingly, the load-displacement properties of the normal and injured lower cervical spine were tested in vitro. Four artificially created stages of increasing discoligamentous instability of the segment C5/6 were compared to the normal C5/6 segment. Six fresh human cadaver spine segments C4-C7 were tested in flexion/extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending using pure moments of +/- 2.5 Nm without axial preload. Five conditions were investigated consecutively: (1) the intact functional spinal unit (FSU) C5/6; (2) the FSU C5/6 with the anterior longitudinal ligament and the intertransverse ligaments sectioned; (3) the FSU C5/6 with an additional 10-mm-deep incision of the anterior half of the anulus fibrosus and the disc; (4) the FSU C5/6 with additionally sectioned ligamenta flava as well as interspinous and supraspinous ligaments; (5) the FSU C5/6 with additional capsulotomy of the facet joints. In flexion/extension, significant differences were observed concerning range of motion (ROM) and neutral zone (NZ) for all four stages of instability compared to the intact FSU. In axial rotation, only the stage 4 instability showed a significantly increased ROM and NZ compared to the intact FSU. For lateral bending, no significant differences were observed. Based on these data, we conclude that flexion/extension is the most sensitive load-direction for the tested discoligamentous instabilities. (+info)
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion with threaded fusion cages and autologous bone grafts.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the ability of Ray threaded fusion cages, when used in an anterior approach, to restore intervertebral height and to improve the functional and occupational performance of the patients. The present study was initiated because insertion of fusion cages through a posterior approach causes destruction of facet joints and violation of the spinal canal. The anterior approach for insertion of threaded fusion cages to accomplish lumbar interbody fusion was evaluated in a series of 13 patients suffering monosegmental disc disease. The patients' functional and occupational performance was evaluated using the Prolo score. Radiological measurements were used to evaluate disc height and degree of penetration into the endplates, and to confirm fusion. Seven of the 13 patients were short-term failures and had to be revised within 2 years. The study found that revised patients had poorer Prolo scores than non-revised patients. Although for the non-revised patients, the mean Prolo scores remained relatively stable during the 1st year, they dropped after 3 years. We were not able to identify any further clinical or radiological differences between the groups. These results indicate that although the anterior approach seems technically suitable for insertion of threaded fusion cages, destruction of the anterior longitudinal ligament and the anterior part of the annulus fibrosis appears to result in destabilisation of the motion segment. (+info)
Injury to the spinal cord without radiological abnormality (SCIWORA) in adults.
Injury to the spinal cord without radiological abnormality often occurs in the skeletally immature cervical and thoracic spine. We describe four adult patients with this diagnosis involving the cervical spine with resultant quadriparesis. The relevant literature is reviewed. The implications for initial management of the injury, the role of MRI and the need for a high index of suspicion are highlighted. (+info)
Hangman's fracture: the relationship between asymmetry and instability.
There is ambiguity concerning the nomenclature and classification of fractures of the ring of the second cervical vertebra (C2). Disruption of the pars interarticularis which defines true traumatic spondylolisthesis of C2, is often wrongly called a pedicle fracture. Our aim in this study was to assess the influence of asymmetry on the anatomical and functional outcome and to evaluate the criteria of instability established by Roy-Camille et al. We studied the plain radiographs and CT scans of 24 patients: 13 were judged to be asymmetrical, ten were considered unstable and 14 stable. Treatment was with a Minerva jacket in 15 fractures and by operation in nine. Surgery was undertaken in patients with severe C2 to C3 sprains. One patient with an unstable lesion refused operation and was treated conservatively with a poor radiological result. Our study showed that asymmetry of the fracture did not affect the outcomes of treatment and should not therefore influence decisions in treatment. The criteria of Roy-Camille seem to be reliable and useful. We prefer the posterior approach to the cervical spine, which allows both stabilisation of the fracture and correction of a local kyphosis. (+info)
Involvement of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the pathological ossification process of the spinal ligament.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the function of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the ossification of the spinal ligament (OSL). METHODS: Total RNA was prepared from the cultured spinal ligament cells from patients with OSL and analysed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using specific primers for BMP-2. BMP-2 mRNA expression in ligament tissues was examined by in situ hybridization. Spinal ligament cells from patients without OSL were treated with BMP-2 and examined for alkaline phosphatase activity. RESULTS: Expression of the BMP-2 gene was detected in cultured spinal ligament cells. In ligament tissues, BMP-2 mRNA was present in the chondrocyte-like cells in the fibrocartilage zone. Exogenous BMP-2 increased alkaline phosphatase activity in spinal ligament cells from patients without OSL. CONCLUSION: The BMP-2 gene is expressed in the spinal ligaments of OSL patients, and exogenous BMP-2 stimulates osteogenic differentiation of spinal ligament cells. The expression of BMP-2 in the spinal ligaments could be a clue in elucidating how heterotrophic osteogenesis develops in ligament tissue. (+info)
Posterior spinal ligament rupture associated with laryngeal mask insertion in a patient with undisclosed unstable cervical spine.
A case of posterior spinal ligament rupture associated with a general anaesthetic for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy is reported. The role of the general anaesthetic in this case is discussed and a review of the literature is presented. (+info)
Role of prostaglandin I2 in the gene expression induced by mechanical stress in spinal ligament cells derived from patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament.
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL) is characterized by ectopic bone formation in the spinal ligaments, and mechanical stress has been suggested to play an important role in the progression of OPLL. To identify the genes that participate in OPLL, the differential display reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used. A 283-base pair cDNA fragment corresponding to prostaglandin I2 (PGI2) synthase was highly expressed in OPLL cells compared with non-OPLL cells. To examine the effect of mechanical stress on the expression of PGI2 synthase, cells were subjected to uniaxial cyclic stretch (0.5 Hz, 20% stretch), and PGI2 synthase mRNA expression was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. Cyclic stretch induced an increase in PGI2 synthase in OPLL cells in a time-dependent manner, whereas no change was observed in non-OPLL cells. Cyclic stretch for 9 h also induced a 2.86x increase in PGI2 production. Beraprost (a stable PGI2 analog) and dibutyryl cAMP (a membrane-permeable cAMP analog) increased the mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) as a marker for osteogenic differentiation up to 240 and 200%, respectively, in OPLL cells, whereas no change was observed in non-OPLL cells. The increases in ALP mRNA induced by beraprost and cyclic stretch were both inhibited by SQ22536, a potent adenylate cyclase inhibitor. These data suggest that the increase in PGI2 synthase induced by mechanical stress plays a key role in the progression of OPLL, at least in part through the induction of osteogenic differentiation in spinal ligament cells via the PGI2/cAMP system. (+info)
In vivo selective inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 in rabbit experimental osteoarthritis is associated with a reduction in the development of structural changes.
OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study was to investigate, using an experimental rabbit model of osteoarthritis (OA), the effect of a selective mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK-1/2) inhibitor, PD 198306, on the development of structural changes. Additional aims were to assess the effects of the inhibitor on levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (phospho-ERK-1/2) and matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1; collagenase 1) in OA chondrocytes. METHODS: After surgical sectioning of the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee joint, rabbits with OA were separated into 3 experimental groups: oral treatment with placebo or with PD 198306 at a therapeutic concentration of 10 mg/kg/day or 30 mg/kg/day. Each treatment started immediately after surgery. The animals were killed 8 weeks after surgery. Macroscopic and histologic studies were performed on the cartilage and synovial membrane. The levels of phospho-ERK-1/2 and MMP-1 in OA cartilage chondrocytes were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Normal, untreated rabbits were used as controls. RESULTS: OA rabbits treated with the highest dosage of MEK-1/2 inhibitor showed decreases in the surface area (size) of cartilage macroscopic lesions (P < 0.002) and in osteophyte width on the lateral condyles (P = 0.05). Histologically, the severity of synovial inflammation (villous hyperplasia) was also reduced (P < 0.02). In cartilage from placebo-treated OA rabbits, a significantly higher percentage of chondrocytes in the superficial layer stained positive for phospho-ERK-1/2 and MMP-1 compared with normal controls. Rabbits treated with the highest dosage of PD 198306 demonstrated a significant and dose-dependent reduction in the level of phospho-ERK-1/2 and a lower level of MMP-1. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that, in vivo, PD 198306, a selective inhibitor of MEK-1/2, can partially decrease the development of some of the structural changes in experimental OA. This effect was associated with a reduction in the level of phospho-ERK-1/2 in OA chondrocytes, which probably explains the action of the drug. (+info)