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Substantial vertebral body osteophytes protect against severe vertebral fractures in compression

Eric Wagnac, Carl-Éric Aubin, Kathia Chaumoître, Jean-Marc Mac-Thiong, Anne-Laure Ménard, Yvan Petit, Anaïs Garo and Pierre-Jean Arnoux

Article (2017)

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Recent findings suggest that vertebral osteophytes increase the resistance of the spine to compression. However, the role of vertebral osteophytes on the biomechanical response of the spine under fast dynamic compression, up to failure, is unclear. Seventeen human spine specimens composed of three vertebrae (from T5-T7 to T11-L1) and their surrounding soft tissues were harvested from nine cadavers, aged 77 to 92 years. Specimens were imaged using quantitative computer tomography (QCT) for medical observation, classification of the intervertebral disc degeneration (Thomson grade) and measurement of the vertebral trabecular density (VTD), height and cross-sectional area. Specimens were divided into two groups (with (n = 9) or without (n = 8) substantial vertebral body osteophytes) and compressed axially at a dynamic displacement rate of 1 m/s, up to failure. Normalized force-displacement curves, videos and QCT images allowed characterizing failure parameters (force, displacement and energy at failure) and fracture patterns. Results were analyzed using chi-squared tests for sampling distributions and linear regression for correlations between VTD and failure parameters. Specimens with substantial vertebral body osteophytes present higher stiffness (2.7 times on average) and force at failure (1.8 times on average) than other segments. The presence of osteophytes significantly influences the location, pattern and type of fracture. VTD was a good predictor of the dynamic force and energy at failure for specimens without substantial osteophytes. This study also showed that vertebral body osteophytes provide a protective mechanism to the underlying vertebra against severe compression fractures.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Aged, 80 and over; Cadaver; Female; Fractures, Compression/*pathology; History, 18th Century; Humans; Lumbar Vertebrae/*pathology; Male; Osteophyte/*pathology; Spinal Fractures/*pathology; Thoracic Vertebrae/*pathology

Subjects: 1900 Biomedical engineering > 1903 Biomechanics
6400 Life sciences research related to human health and disease > 6400 Life sciences research related to human health and disease
Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/5161/
Journal Title: PLOS One (vol. 12, no. 10)
Publisher: PLOS
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186779
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186779
Date Deposited: 02 May 2022 15:32
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2024 23:53
Cite in APA 7: Wagnac, E., Aubin, C.-É., Chaumoître, K., Mac-Thiong, J.-M., Ménard, A.-L., Petit, Y., Garo, A., & Arnoux, P.-J. (2017). Substantial vertebral body osteophytes protect against severe vertebral fractures in compression. PLOS One, 12(10), e0186779 (15 pages). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186779


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