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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2007 October;58(5):369-77

language: English

Arthrodesis of the first six dorsal vertebre in prepubertal New Zealand White rabbits and thoracic growth to skeletal maturity: the role of the “Rib-Vertebral-Sternal complex”

Canavese F. 1, Dimeglio A. 1, Granier M. 2, Pittioni E. 3, Stebel M. 4, Canavese B. 3, Cavalli F. 5

1 Unit of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery CHU Hôpital Lapeyronie Montpellier, France
2 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care A CHU Montpellier, Montpellier, France
3 Department of Animal Sciences University of Udine, Udine, Italy
4 Animal Facility Unit CSPA, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
5 Unit of Radiodiagnostics Department of Imaging Diagnostics Ospedale Maggiore, Trieste, Italy


Aim. The aim of the study is to assess the effects of selective dorsal arthrodesis of the thoracic spine in prepubertal New Zealand White rabbits on the growth of the spine, sternum, and lung volume.
Methods. Eighteen female rabbits, aged 9 weeks, underwent dorsal arthrodesis of the upper thoracic spine with the implant of two titanium bars placed beside the spinous processes of the upper thoracic vertebrae.
Results. Three CT scans were performed, 10 (T1), 55 (T2), and 139 (T3) days after surgery. Measures were obtained by Myrian Pro® software for three different groups of rabbits: G1 with complete fusion, G2 with incomplete fusion, G3 sham-operated.
Conclusion. Dorsal arthrodesis in prepubertal rabbits changes thoracic growth patterns. In operated rabbits, the dorso-ventral thoracic diameter grows more slowly than the latero-lateral thoracic diameter. The sternum and lung volume grow less. The “crankshaft phenomenon” is evident at the fused vertebral levels where there is a reduction of thoracic kyphosis.

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