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Spine J. 2007 Jan-Feb;7(1):61-7. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Posterolateral intertransverse lumbar fusion in a mouse model: surgical anatomy and operative technique.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53226-3522, USA. rrao@mcw.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

Animal models are frequently used for studying the effect of bone graft substitutes or allogeneic materials on osterolateral lumbar fusion. Transgenic technology in the mouse provides a unique opportunity to further understand the biology of spine fusion.

PURPOSE:

To describe pertinent lumbar spine anatomy and formulate a surgical protocol for posterolateral fusion in the mouse model.

STUDY DESIGN:

Diagnostic model: development of an animal model for biologic evaluation of posterolateral spine fusion.

METHOD:

Ten mice were killed to study relevant lumbar spine anatomy and develop a protocol for lumbar spine fusion. The L4-L6 fusion protocol was validated in 46 mice for ease of exposure, preparation of the posterolateral fusion bed, introduction of bone inductive agents, and perioperative care.

RESULTS:

Anatomy and surgical technique for posterolateral intertransverse lumbar fusion in the mouse model are described. A paraspinal approach allows exposure of the transverse processes, decortication, and graft placement at the L4-L6 intertransverse fusion site. Decortication alone did not result in fusion, whereas the use of bone graft resulted in satisfactory fusion rates. Perioperative morbidity and mortality rates were low.

CONCLUSION:

The mouse posterolateral lumbar spine fusion model is reproducible, inexpensive, and has low complication rates. Knowledge of the relevant anatomy and adherence to a well-defined surgical protocol provides a reliable and reproducible experimental spine fusion model.

PMID:
17197334
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2006.03.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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