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research-article

Acute Surgical Injury Alters the Tensile Properties of Thoracolumbar Fascia in a Porcine Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Erika Nelson-Wong

Regis University, School of Physical Therapy, 3333 Regis Blvd. G4, Denver, CO 80221, USA
enelsonw@regis.edu

Michal Glinka

University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada
mglinka@uwaterloo.ca

Mamiko Noguchi

University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada
mnoguchi@uwaterloo.ca

Helene Langevin

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA
hlangevin@partners.org

Gary J. Badger

Department of Medical Biostatistics, University of Vermont, College of Medicine, Burlington, VT 05405
gary.badger@uvm.edu

Jack P. Callaghan

University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada
callagha@uwaterloo.ca

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040452 History: Received September 28, 2017; Revised May 20, 2018

Abstract

Recent work utilizing ultrasound imaging demonstrated that individuals with low back pain (LBP) have increased thickness and decreased mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF); an indication that the TLF may play a role in LBP. This study used a porcine injury model (microsurgically induced local injury) - shown to produce similar results to those observed in humans with LBP - to test the hypothesis that TLF mechanical properties may also be altered in patients with LBP. Perimuscular TLF tissue was harvested from the non-injured side of vertebral level L3-4 in pigs randomized into either control (n=5) or injured (n=5) groups. All samples were tested with a displacement-controlled biaxial testing system using the following protocol: cyclic loading/unloading and stress relaxation tests at 25%, 35%, and then 45% of their resting length. Tissue anisotropy was also explored by comparing responses to loading in longitudinal and transverse orientations. Tissues from injured pigs were found to have greater stretch-stretch ratio moduli (measure of tissue stiffness), less energy dissipation, and less stress decay compared to tissues from control pigs. Responses across these variables also depended on loading orientation. Clinical Significance: These findings suggest that a focal TLF injury can produce impairments in tissue mechanical properties away from the injured area itself. This could contribute to some of the functional abnormalities observed in human LBP.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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