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Old 06-26-2008, 06:44 AM
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Default Effect of uncovertebral joint excision on the motion response of the cervical spine

From: PubMed. Spine. 2007 Dec 15;32(26):2965-9.

Effect of uncovertebral joint excision on the motion response of the cervical spine after total disc replacement
Snyder JT, Tzermiadianos MN, Ghanayem AJ, Voronov LI, Rinella A, Dooris A, Carandang G, Renner SM, Havey RM, Patwardhan AG

Abstract
Study Design: In vitro biomechanical study.
Objective: To quantify the effects of uncinatectomy on cervical motion after total disc replacement (TDR).
Summary of Background Data: The effect of uncinatectomy on TDR motion is unknown. Partial uncinatectomy may be required to decompress the foramen; however, the residual uncinates can potentially limit TDR motion and serve as a source of progressive spondylosis. Complete resection of the uncinates may decrease this risk yet endanger destabilizing the segment.
Methods: Seven human cervical spines (C3-C7) (age, 63.4 +/- 6.9 years) were tested first intact and then after implantation of a metal-on-polyethylene ball-and-socket semiconstrained prosthesis at C5-C6. Following this, gradually increased uncinatectomy was performed in the following order: 1) right partial-posteromedial (two thirds), 2) right complete, and 3) bilateral complete resection. Specimens were tested in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation (+/-1.5 Nm). Flexion-extension was tested under 150 N follower preload.
Results: TDR without uncinatectomy increased C5-C6 flexion-extension range of motion from 8.4 degrees +/- 3.5 degrees to 11.6 degrees +/- 3.4 degrees, but statistical significance was not reached (P > 0.05). Lateral bending decreased from 6.2 degrees +/- 2.2 degrees to 3.1 degrees +/- 1.4 degrees, with a trend for statistical significance (P = 0.07). Axial rotation decreased from 5.5 degrees +/- 2.4 degrees to 4.3 degrees +/- 1.4 degrees after the implantation (P > 0.05). Both right partial and right complete uncinatectomy resulted in nearly symmetrical restoration of lateral bending to intact values and significantly increased flexion-extension compared with intact (P < or = 0.05); however, axial rotation still did not differ from intact (P > 0.05). Complete bilateral resection also restored lateral bending to intact values (7.3 degrees +/- 2.7 degrees, P > 0.05); however, it resulted in significant increase in range of motion in flexion-extension (14.1 degrees +/- 3.0 degrees, P < or = 0.05) and axial rotation (8.7 degrees +/- 2.4 degrees, P < or = 0.05).
Conclusion: Unilateral complete or even partial uncinatectomy can normalize lateral bending after TDR. Bilateral complete uncinatectomy is not necessary to restore lateral bending and may result in significantly increased range of motion in flexion-extension and axial rotation compared with intact values.

Keywords: cervical spine; artificial disc; total disc replacement; uncinate; kinematics; TERM-FOLLOW-UP; FUSION
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