Information on the 3D shape of vertebral endplates is lacking. Prior studies have analysed 2D shape, however 3D data is important as it may help improve our understanding of how differences in shape are related to age, gender, race, size and other parameters which may subsequently help improve device design for interbody prosthesis.
To study the 3D shape of lumbar vertebral endplates from normal adult lumbar spines and correlate them with age, gender, spinal/endplate level, endplate surface area, concave depth, and size.
In-vivo analysis of lumbar vertebral endplate 3D shape.
MATERIALS & METHODS:
136 patients’ CT scans were used to create 3D models of the lumbar spine for each patient which were subsequently analysed.
The shape of the superior endplates are different when compared to inferior endplates. Across the lumbar spine (L1-S1) the shape of inferior endplates are very similar to one another, however the shape of the superior endplate varies between spinal levels significantly. There was no clear relationship between age and Principal Component (PC) shapes but there was a strong correlation between endplate concave depth and endplate PC shape scores.
Future interbody (disc replacement and fusion) device designs could utilise the findings that inferior endplate shape is similar throughout the length of the lumbar spine, whereas superior endplate shape changes. Further, future implants could be level-specific as the present study shows that the endplate shape varies through the length of the lumbar spine.
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