The measurement of intradiscal stress has been primarily limited to nucleus pulposus pressure. Intradiscal stress profilometry is a technique that measures stress in both the nucleus pulposus (hydrostatic) and annulus fibrosus (compression). Evidence from animal studies suggests that distraction may affect disc physiology and promote repair. A study was performed to determine the reliability of intradiscal stress profilometry measurements in the anterior, posterior, and nucleus regions of cadaveric lumbar discs. Four fresh-frozen human lumbar motion segments were prepared and tested. Five profiles were obtained during two conditions of compression and three conditions of distraction. Discs were then graded for degenerative change. Reliability was judged by within-specimen coefficients of variation. The coefficients of variation were smaller (more reliable) for compression conditions than for distraction conditions. Within-specimen coefficients during compression ranged from 1.58% to 37.2% in the nucleus, 3.9% to 67.4% in the anterior annulus, and 2.3% to 25.5% in the posterior annulus. The reliability of intradiscal stress profilometry is acceptable for repeated measures studies evaluating within-specimen changes, but the sample size will vary depending on the test conditions used and the disc region of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine