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Eur Spine J. 2012 Aug;21(8):1479-82.

A morphometric cadaver study of the anterior lumbar epidural space.

Author information

1
Orthopädische Universitätsklinik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany. wolfram.teske@rub.de

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Free disc fragments end often up in the concavity of the anterior epidural space. This space consists of two compartments. The discrepancy between the impressive magnetic resonance imaging findings, clinical symptoms in patients and the problem of treatment options led us to the anatomical determination of anterior epidural space volumes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

For the first time, the left and right anterior epidural volume between the peridural membrane and the posterior concavity of the lumbar vertebral bodies L3-S1 were determined for each segment. A CT scan and a polyester resin injection were used for the in vitro measurements.

RESULTS:

The volumes determined in human cadavers using this method ranged from 0.23 ccm for L3 to 0.34 ccm for L5. The CT concavity volume determination showed this increase in volume from cranial to caudal, as well.

CONCLUSION:

This volume is large enough to hold average-sized slipped discs without causing neurological deficits. A better understanding of the anterior epidural space may allow a better distinction of patient treatment options.

PMID:
22286513
PMCID:
PMC3535248
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-011-2139-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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