Static and Dynamic Compression Application and Removal on the Intervertebral Discs of Growing Rats

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Fusionless implants are used to correct pediatric progressive spinal deformities, most of them spanning the intervertebral disc. This study aimed at investigating the effects of in vivo static versus dynamic compression application and removal on discs of growing rats. A microloading device applied compression. 48 immature rats (28 d.o.) were divided into two groups (43d, 53d). Each group included four subgroups: control (no surgery), sham (device installed without loading), static (0.2 MPa) and dynamic compressions (0.2 MPa ± 30% with 0.1 Hz). In 43d subgroups, compression was applied for 15 days. In 53d subgroups, compression was followed by 10 days without loading. Disc heights, nucleus/annulus volumetric proportions and nucleus proteoglycan contents were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey comparisons (p < 0.05). Disc heights of 43d and 53d static and dynamic loading rats were lower than shams (p < 0.05). Volumetric proportions remained similar. At 43d, nucleus proteoglycan contents increased in both static and dynamic loading rats. However, at 53d, static loading rats had lower proteoglycan content than dynamic loading rats (p < 0.05). Disc structure is altered following static compression removal, but nucleus proteoglycan content remaining elevated in dynamic group. Dynamic fusionless implants would better preserve disc integrity. © 2015 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:290–298, 2016.

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