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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies have shown that morphological characteristics of iliolumbar ligament are controversial. Few Chinese studies concerned anatomical structure and biomechanical features of Chinese iliolumbar ligament, and no detail statistical data were found.

OBJECTIVE:

To study the relationship of L 5/S1 disc herniation and the L 5 spondylolisthesis with iliolumbar ligament.

METHODS:

A total of 28 cases receiving health examination, 26 patients with L 5/S1 disc herniation and 26 patients with L 5 spondylolisthesis were recruited from First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in China in 2013. Normal group contained 9 males and 19 females. L 5/S1 disc herniation group contained 14 males and 12 females. L 5 spondylolisthesis group contained 7 males and 19 females. Of them, there were 13 cases of spondylolysis and 13 cases degenerative spondylolisthesis; as well as 24 cases with degree I spondylolisthesis and 2 cases of degree II spondylolisthesis. The relative widths of the L 5 transverse process (RT value) on the X-ray of the lumbar vertebra of each case were measured and calculated.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

No significant difference in age and gender was detected in the normal group, L5/S1 disc herniation group and L 5 spondylolisthesis group. RT value was higher in the normal group than in the L5/S1 disc herniation and L 5 spondylolisthesis groups (all P=0.000). RT value was greater in the L 5/S1 disc herniation group than in the L 5 spondylolisthesis group (P=0.000). No significant difference in RT value was detectable between males and females. No significant difference in RT values was visible between the left and right sides. In patients with L 5 spondylolisthesis, RT values were lower in the degenerative spondylolisthesis patients than in spondylolysis patients (P=0.004). Results indicated that the strength of iliolumbar ligament in normal person was higher than that with L 5/S1 disc herniation and L 5 spondylolisthesis. The strength of iliolumbar ligament in L 5/S1 disc herniation patients was higher than that with L 5 spondylolisthesis patients. The strength of iliolumbar ligament in spondylolysis patients was higher than that with L 5 degenerative spondylolisthesis patients. The mechanical strength of iliolumbar ligament was possibly associated with L 5/S1 disc herniation and L 5 spondylolisthesis.

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