Biomechanical evaluation of a novel nucleus pulposus prosthesis in canine cadaveric spines

Lucas Adam Smolders*, Niklas Bergknut, Idsart Kingma, Albert Jan van der Veen, Theodoor Henri Smit, Levinus Hendrik Koole, Herman Anthonie Willem Hazewinkel, Bjorn Petrus Meij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Partial disc replacement is a new surgical technique aimed at restoring functionality to degenerated intervertebral discs (IVDs). The aim of the present study was to assess biomechanically the behaviour of a novel nucleus pulposus prosthesis (NPP) in situ and its ability to restore functionality to the canine IVD after nuclectomy alone or after combined dorsal laminectomy and nuclectomy. Nine canine T13-L5 specimens (L2L3 group) and 10 L5-Cd1 specimens (LS group) were tested biomechanically in the native state, after nuclectomy (L2L3 group) or after combined dorsal laminectomy and nuclectomy (LS group), and after insertion of the NPP. Range of motion (ROM), neutral zone (NZ), and neutral zone stiffness (NZS) were determined in flexion/extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation. Nuclectomy alone and combined dorsal laminectomy and nuclectomy caused significant instability in all motion directions. Implantation of the NPP resulted in significant restoration of the parameters (ROM, NZ, and NZS) towards the native state; however, fragmentation/herniation of the NPP occurred in 47% of the cases. In conclusion, the NPP has the ability to improve functionality of the nuclectomized canine IVD. The high rate of NPP failure requires modifications directed at the integrity of the NPP and its confinement to the nuclear cavity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-205
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Intervertebral disc
  • Biomechanics
  • Laminectomy
  • Nuclectomy
  • Nucleus pulposus prosthesis

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