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High pressures and asymmetrical stresses in the scoliotic disc in the absence of muscle loading

BioMed Central
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Abstract ral ss BioMed CentScoliosis Open AcceResearch High pressures and asymmetrical stresses in the scoliotic disc in the absence of muscle loading Adam R Meir*1,4, Jeremy CT Fairbank1, Deborah A Jones2, Donal S McNally3 and Jill PG Urban2 Address: 1Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 2Physiology Laboratory, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 3Institute of Biomechanics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK and 4Adam R Meir, co Dr. Jill Urban, Physiology laboratory, Oxford University, Oxford, UK Email: Adam R Meir* - [email protected]; Jeremy CT Fairbank - [email protected]; Deborah A Jones - [email protected]; Donal S McNally - [email protected]; Jill PG Urban - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: Loads acting on scoliotic spines are thought to be asymmetric and involved in progression of the scoliotic deformity; abnormal loading patterns lead to changes in bone and disc cell activity and hence to vertebral body and disc wedging. At present however there are no direct measurements of intradiscal stresses or pressures in scoliotic spines. The aim of this study was to obtain quantitative measurements of the intradiscal stress environment in scoliotic intervertebral discs and to determine if loads acting across the scoliotic spine are asymmetric. We performed in vivo measurements of stresses across the intervertebral disc in patients with scoliosis, both parallel (termed horizontal) and perpendicular (termed vertical) to the end plate, using a side mounted pressure transducer (stress profilometry) Methods: Stress profilometry was used to measure horizontal and vertical stresses at 5 mm intervals across 25 intervertebral discs of 7 scoliotic patients during anterior reconstructive surgery. A state of hydrostatic pressure was defined by identical horizontal and vertical stresses for at least two consecutive readings. Results were compared

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