Morphometric study of the posterior longitudinal ligament at the lumbar spine.
Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Dec 29;:
Authors: Salaud C, Ploteau S, Hamel O, Armstrong O, Hamel A
PURPOSE: There are only two descriptions of posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) at the lumbar spine level but its morphologic characteristics are different to cervical and thoracic levels.
METHOD: Spine explantation (from Th12 to L5) followed by resection of the neural arch and the dural sheath in 13 fresh cadavers was performed. The PLL was isolated from other epidural structures and its width was measured and compared to the vertebral body width at each vertebral levels. It was conducted at a microanatomic study concerning the PLL and the posterior outer annulus fibrosus.
RESULTS: The PLL width was reduced craniocaudaly significantly, becoming thin from L4. The average width of PLL was 7.8 mm at L1 and 1.9 mm at L5. The width decreased gradually from L1 to L5 or abruptly from L4. The ratio of PLL width compared to the vertebral body width was 21% at L1 and 3% at L5. Microanatomic study confirmed that the PLL is less thick at its annulus fibrosus adhesion at L4-L5 and L5-S1. The relationship between the PLL and other epidural structures are discussed.
CONCLUSIONS: The presence and function of the ilio-lumbar ligaments and the articular process orientation of L5-S1 may be explanations for PLL width decrease at L4-L5 and L5-S1. Furthermore, this aspect may be considered as one factor contributing to the occurrence of disc herniations at these levels, which levels are more frequently involved in this pathology.
PMID: 29288395 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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