Measurement of the nerve root of the lower lumbar region using digital images

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the nerve root of lower lumbar and the surrounding structures using three-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT).

Twenty-three consecutive patients with thoracolumbar fractures without obvious radiological degeneration were retrospectively studied at the spinal surgery department of the hospital. The parameters of the relationship between the nerve root of the lower lumbar and the surrounding structures were measured using 3D CT in the work station of the picture archiving and communication system.

The size of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of the L4 was 5.5 ± 0.4 mm on the right side and 5.8 ± 0.3 mm on the left side. The size of the DRG of the L5 was 6.1 ± 0.5 mm on the right side and 5.7 ± 0.4 mm on the left side. The value of the preganglionic nerve root of the L4 was 11.2 ± 0.6 mm on the right side and 12.3 ± 0.8 mm on the left side, and the value of the preganglionic nerve root of the L5 was 15.1 ± 1.1 mm on the right side and 14.9 ± 0.9 mm on the left side.

Using 3D CT imaging constructed in the picture archiving and communication system is a practical and convenient method for evaluating the relationship between the nerve root and the surrounding structures in the routine clinical work of a spinal surgeon. The data obtained through 3D CT imaging will be helpful for surgeons, allowing them to become more familiar with correlating anatomical knowledge of individual patient.

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