Musculoskeletal biomechanics of patients with or without adjacent segment degeneration after spinal fusion
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Study design: A retrospective, single center, case-control study was performed. Objective: The present study employed patient-specific biomechanical modeling to find potential biomechanical differences after spinal fusion at L4/5 in patients with and without subsequent development of adjacent segment disease (ASD). Methods: The study population comprised patients who underwent primary spinal fusion at L4/5 and were either asymptomatic during > 4 years of follow-up (CTRL; n = 18) or underwent revision surgery for ASD at L3/4 (n = 20). Landmarks were annotated on preoperative and follow-up lateral radiographs, and specific musculoskeletal models were created using a custom-built modeling pipeline. Simulated spinal muscle activation and lumbar intervertebral shear loads in unfused segments were analyzed in upright standing and forward flexion. Differences between the pre- and postoperative conditions were computed for each patient. Results: The average postoperative muscle activity in the upright standing posture was 88.4% of the preoperative activity in the CTRL group (p < 0.0001), but did not significantly change from pre- to postoperatively in the ASD group (98.0%). The average shear load magnitude at the epifusional joint L3/4 during upright standing increased from pre- to postoperatively in the ASD group (+ 3.9 N, +/− 17.4 (n = 18)), but decreased in the CTRL group (− 4.6 N, +/− 23.3 (n = 20); p < 0.001). Conclusion: Patient-specific biomechanical simulation revealed that spinal fusion surgery resulted in greater shear load magnitude and muscle activation and therefore greater forces at the epifusional segment in those with ASD compared with those without ASD. This is a first report of patient-specific disc load and muscle force calculation with predictive merits for ASD. Show more
Journal / seriesBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Pages / Article No.
SubjectAdjacent segment disease; Spinal fusion; Biomechanical modeling; Patient-specifc biomechanical simulation; Preoperative planning; Sagittal alignment
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