Bone creep can cause progressive vertebral deformity

P Pollintine, J Luo, B Offa-Jones, P Dolan, MA Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vertebral deformities in elderly people are conventionally termed "fractures", but their onset is often insidious, suggesting that time-dependent (creep) processes may also be involved. Creep has been studied in small samples of bone, but nothing is known about creep deformity of whole vertebrae, or how it might be influenced by bone mineral density (BMD). We hypothesise that sustained compressive loading can cause progressive and measurable creep deformity in elderly human vertebrae. METHODS: 27 thoracolumbar "motion segments" (two vertebrae and the intervening disc and ligaments) were dissected from 20 human cadavers aged 42-91 yrs. A constant compressive force of approximately 1.0 kN was applied to each specimen for either 0.5 h or 2 h, while the anterior, middle and posterior heights of each of the 54 vertebral bodies were measured at 1 Hz using a MacReflex 2D optical tracking system. This located 6 reflective markers attached to the lateral cortex of each vertebral body, with resolution better than 10 microm. Experiments were at laboratory temperature, and polythene film was used to minimise water loss. Volumetric BMD was calculated for each vertebral body, using DXA to measure mineral content, and water immersion for volume. RESULTS: In the 0.5 h tests, creep deformation in the anterior, middle and posterior vertebral cortex averaged 4331, 1629 and 614 micro-strains respectively, where 10,000 micro-strains represents 1% loss in height. Anterior creep strains exceeded posterior (P
Translated title of the contributionBone creep can cause progressive vertebral deformity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466 - 472
Number of pages7
JournalBone
Volume45(3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

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    Pollintine, P., Luo, J., Offa-Jones, B., Dolan, P., & Adams, MA. (2009). Bone creep can cause progressive vertebral deformity. Bone, 45(3), 466 - 472. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2009.05.015