The contribution of anulus fibers to torque resistance

Krismer,M.; Haid,C.; Rabl,W.
STUDY DESIGN: Anulus fibers of the intervertebral disc oriented in one direction were dissected, and oppositely directed fibers were left intact as a result of a newly developed dissection method. Motion segments were dissected by this way, and motion segments after bilateral facetectomy were loaded in torsion and compared with each other. OBJECTIVES: To assess the contribution of facets and anulus fibers to torque resistance. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Mathematical models predict that torsional stress is transmitted only to those collagene fibers of the anulus that are angled in the direction of the applied torque. Torsion and forward bending or torsion and compression are likely to cause anulus damage. No experimental study that we are aware of has confirmed that anulus fibers are the main structure to resist against torque. METHODS: Pure axial rotation moments were applied on 12 lumbar motion segments. The six components of motion were recorded. Six motion segments were investigated intact after dissection of anulus fibers directed in one direction and after additional bilateral facetectomy. In six motion segments, bilateral facetectomy was performed before anulus dissection. RESULTS: With the application of an axial rotation moment of 8.5 Nm to the left, axial rotation increased 2 degrees after dissection of disc fibers in one direction, and 1.2 degrees after bilateral facetectomy (P = 0.002). In the opposite direction, there were no differences. After both injuries, axial rotation was 7.6 degrees to the left (direction of fiber dissection) and -3.3 degrees to the right (P = 0.0005). CONCLUSION: In lumbar motion segments without degeneration, anulus fibers restrict axial rotation more than the facets
Spine 1996 21(22):2551-2557
Tags: 97120771; adult; human; injuries; Intervertebral Disk; methods; physiology; Rotation; Stress,Mechanical; surgery; Torque
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