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Alpesh A. Patel, Andrew Dailey, Darrel S. Brodke, Michael Daubs, Paul A. Anderson, R. John Hurlbert, Alexander R. Vacccaro and the Spine Trauma Study Group

Object

The authors review a novel subaxial cervical trauma classification system and demonstrate its application through a series of cervical trauma cases.

Methods

The Spine Trauma Study Group collaborated to create the Subaxial Injury Classification (SLIC) and Severity score. The SLIC system is reviewed and is applied to 3 cases of subaxial cervical trauma.

Results

The SLIC system identifies 3 major injury characteristics to describe subaxial cervical injuries: injury morphology, discoligamentous complex integrity, and neurological status. Minor injury characteristics include injury level and osseous fractures. Each major characteristic is assigned a numerical score based upon injury severity. The sum of these scores constitutes the injury severity score.

Conclusions

By addressing both discoligamentous integrity and neurological status, the SLIC system may overcome major limitations of earlier classification systems. The system incorporates a number of critical clinical variables—including neurological status, absent in earlier systems—and is simple to apply and may provide both diagnostic and prognostic information.

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Alpesh A. Patel, Andrew Dailey, Darrel S. Brodke, Michael Daubs, James Harrop, Peter G. Whang, Alexander R. Vaccaro and the Spine Trauma Study Group

Object

The aim of this study was to review the Thoracolumbar Injury Classification and Severity Score (TLICS) and to demonstrate its application through a series of spine trauma cases.

Methods

The Spine Trauma Study Group collaborated to create and report the TLICS system. The TLICS system is reviewed and applied to 3 cases of thoracolumbar spine trauma.

Results

The TLICS system identifies 3 major injury characteristics to describe thoracolumbar spine injuries: injury morphology, posterior ligamentous complex integrity, and neurological status. In addition, minor injury characteristics such as injury level, confounding variables (such as ankylosing spondylitis), multiple injuries, and chest wall injuries are also identified. Each major characteristic is assigned a numerical score, weighted by severity of injury, which is then summated to yield the injury severity score. The TLICS system has demonstrated initial success and its use is increasing. Limitations of the TLICS system exist and, in some instances, have yet to be addressed. Despite these limitations, the severity score may provide a basis to judge spinal stability and the need for surgical intervention.

Conclusions

By addressing both the posterior ligamentous integrity and the patient's neurological status, the TLICS system attempts to overcome the limitations of prior thoracolumbar classification systems. The TLICS system has demonstrated both validity and reliability and has also been shown to be readily learned and incorporated into clinical practice.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Elizabeth L. Lord, Akinobu Suzuki, Shinji Takahashi, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin Phan, Haijun Tian, Michael D. Daubs, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECTIVE

The efficacy of some demineralized bone matrix (DBM) substances has been demonstrated in the spinal fusion of rats; however, no previous comparative study has reported the efficacy of DBM with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). There is an added cost to the products with stem cells, which should be justified by improved osteogenic potential. The purpose of this study is to prospectively compare the fusion rates of 3 different commercially available DBM substances, both with and without hMSCs.

METHODS

Posterolateral fusion was performed in 32 mature athymic nude rats. Three groups of 8 rats were implanted with 1 of 3 DBMs: Trinity Evolution (DBM with stem cells), Grafton (DBM without stem cells), or DBX (DBM without stem cells). A fourth group with no implanted material was used as a control group. Radiographs were obtained at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. The rats were euthanized at 8 weeks. Overall fusion was determined by manual palpation and micro-CT.

RESULTS

The fusion rates at 8 weeks on the radiographs for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 8 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 5 of 8 rats, respectively. A significant difference was found between Trinity Evolution and Grafton (p = 0.01). The overall fusion rates as determined by micro-CT and manual palpation for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 4 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 3 of 8 rats, respectively. The Trinity Evolution substance had the highest overall fusion rate, however no significant difference was found between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The efficacies of these DBM substances are demonstrated; however, the advantage of DBM with hMSCs could not be found in terms of posterolateral fusion. When evaluating spinal fusion using DBM substances, CT analysis is necessary in order to not overestimate fusion.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Michael D. Daubs, Akinobu Suzuki, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin H. Phan, Monchai Ruangchainikom, Shinji Takahashi, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECT

Most studies of Modic changes (MCs) have focused on investigating the relationship between MCs and lowback pain, whereas the kinematic characteristics and degenerative disc disease associated with MCs are not well understood. To the authors' knowledge, no previous study has reported on the kinematics of MCs. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship of MCs to segmental motion and degenerative disc disease.

METHODS

Four hundred fifty symptomatic patients underwent weight-bearing lumbar kinematic MRI in the neutral, flexion, and extension positions. Segmental displacement and intervertebral angles were measured in 3 positions using computer analysis software. Modic changes, disc degeneration, disc bulging, spondylolisthesis, angular motion, and translational motion were recorded, and the relationship of MCs to these factors was analyzed using a logistic regression model. To control the influence of disc degeneration on segmental motion, angular and translational motion were analyzed according to mild and severe disc degeneration stages. The motion characteristics and disc degeneration among types of MCs were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis revealed that age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were factors significantly related to MCs. In the severe disc degeneration stage, a significant decrease of angular motion and significant increase of translational motion were found in segments with MCs, indicating that a disorder of the endplate had an additional effect on segmental motion. Disc degeneration increased and angular motion decreased significantly and gradually as the type of MC increased. Translational motion was significantly increased with Type 2 MCs.

CONCLUSIONS

Age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were significantly linked to MCs in the lumbar spine. The translational motion of lumbar segments increased with Type 2 MCs, whereas angular motion decreased as the type of MC increased, indicating that Type 2 MCs may have translational instability likely due to degenerative changes. A disorder of the endplates could play an important role in spinal instability.