Nucleus pulposus deformation in response to lumbar spine lateral flexion: An in vivo MRI investigation

Fazey, Peter J., Takasaki, Hiroshi and Singer, Kevin P. (2010) Nucleus pulposus deformation in response to lumbar spine lateral flexion: An in vivo MRI investigation. European Spine Journal, 19 7: 115-120. doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1339-4

Author Fazey, Peter J.
Takasaki, Hiroshi
Singer, Kevin P.
Title Nucleus pulposus deformation in response to lumbar spine lateral flexion: An in vivo MRI investigation
Journal name European Spine Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0940-6719
Publication date 2010-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00586-010-1339-4
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 19
Issue 7
Start page 115
End page 120
Total pages 6
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Whilst there are numerous studies examining aspects of sagittal plane motion in the lumbar spine, few consider coronal plane range of motion and there are no in vivo reports of nucleus pulposus (NP) displacement in lateral flexion. This study quantified in vivo NP deformation in response to side flexion in healthy volunteers. Concomitant lateral flexion and axial rotation range were also examined to evaluate the direction and extent of NP deformation. Axial T2- and coronal T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI) were obtained from 21 subjects (mean age, 24.8 years) from L1 to S1 in the neutral and left laterally flexed position. Images were evaluated for intersegmental ranges of lateral flexion and axial rotation. A novel methodology derived linear pixel samples across the width of the disc from T2 images, from which the magnitude and direction of displacement of the NP was determined. This profiling technique represented the relative hydration pattern within the disc. The NP was displaced away from the direction of lateral flexion in 95/105 discs (p < 0.001). The extent of NP displacement was associated strongly with lateral flexion at L2–3 (p < 0.01). The greatest range of lateral flexion occurred at L2–3, L3–4 and L4–5. Small intersegmental ranges of axial rotation occurred at all levels, but were not associated with NP displacement. The direction of NP deformation was highly predictable in laterally flexed healthy lumbar spines; however, the magnitude of displacement was not consistent with the degree of intersegmental lateral flexion or rotation.
Keyword Lumbar spine
Lateral flexion
Nucleus pulposus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2011, 06:56:59 EST by Dr. Hiroshi Takasaki on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences