Dynamic examination of the lumbar spine by using vertical, open magnetic resonance imaging

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Object. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship of different structures of the lower lumbar spine during interventional movement examination.

Methods. Clinically healthy volunteers and patients suffering from degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine underwent vertical, open magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (0.5 tesla). Three functional patterns of lumbar spine motion were identified in 50 healthy volunteers, (average age 25 years). The authors identified characteristic angles of the facet joints, as measured in the frontal plane. In 50 patients with degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine (41 with disc herniation, five with osteogenic spinal stenosis, and four with degenerative spondylolisthesis) the range of rotation was increased in the relevant spinal segments. Signs of neural compression were increased under motion.

Conclusions. Dynamic examination in which vertical, open MR imaging is used demonstrated that the extent of neural compression as well as the increasing range of rotation are important signs of segmental instability.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Hans-Ekkehart Vitzthum, M.D., Ph.D., Klinik für Neurochirurgie der Universität Leipzig, Johannisallee 34, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany. email: vithe@server3.medizin. uni-leipzig.de.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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