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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-112

Experimental study on pressure response to graded spinal canal compromise in an in vitro burst fracture mode

1 McGill University Health Center, Orthopedic Research Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
4 McGill University Health Center, Orthopedic Research Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal; Division of Orthopedic Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Jonathan Bourget-Murray
University of Calgary, Rm G205, Health Sciences Centre, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Alberta
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_25_17

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Background: Spinal cord compression is a known cause of spinal cord injury. The purpose of this study is to measure pressure response during graded spinal cord compression. This information will be important in evaluating the amount of canal compromise that can be tolerated before risking neurological injury secondary to cord compression. To date, there is no published study that has evaluated pressure response to graded canal compromise in the thoracic and lumbar spine. Materials and Methods: A comparative biomechanical investigation using an in vitro burst fracture model of graded spinal canal compromise was performed. Four porcine spines, sectioned into four thoracics and four lumbar segments, were harvested from 30 kg pigs. Graded spinal canal compromise (0.75 mm/30 s) was achieved using a modified 12.7 mm dynamic hip screw. The real-time ventral epidural pressure was measured at each 0.75 mm of canal compromise. Results: A significant increase in spinal cord pressure was recorded during graded spinal cord compression (P < 0.0001), and there were no statistical differences between the increase in pressure measured in the thoracic and lumbar spinal segments (P = 0.83). The pressure to degree of canal compromise curve exhibited an initial rapid rise in pressure followed by incrementally smaller increases in pressure as canal compromise increased. Conclusions: Spinal cord pressure increased with any degree of canal compromise, the most important rise occurring with initial compression. Future studies will evaluate the usefulness of laminectomy in vivo to completely restore ventral epidural pressure in the thoracic and lumbar spine.

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