Abstract
QUANTITATIVE DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE LUMBAR SPINE: A SEGMENTAL MORPHOMETRIC EVALUATION

Michael Omonkheoa Oyakhire*, Sunday Okon Elijah, Helen Bassey Akpan and Ijeoma Onyeleonu

ABSTRACT

Spine injuries resulting from industrial accidents, tuberculosis of the spine, exposure to occupational hazard, sickle cell disease are increasingly being encountered. Clinical conditions from these injuries can manifest in many different forms, often characterized by pain of varying degrees and severity. Patients’ misunderstanding of the patho-etiology of spine diseases, lack of faith in the availability of equipment and personnel in Nigerian hospitals to effectively provide affordable curative treatment and the consequent preferences for traditional bone setters are responsible in part for the high morbidity and mortality reported in resource limited countries. The aim of this study is to quantitatively evaluate the lumbar region of the vertebral column to estimate cadaver length, provide population specific data for Nigerians and to document presence or absence of anatomical variations with regards to race. A total of 37 (34 males and 3 females) cadavers were studied. A total of one hundred and eighty-five (185) lumbar vertebrae were harvested and prepared by soil and water maceration. General examination for obvious bone pathology was done before measuring the various parameters. Results showed significantly higher dimensions in males as compared to females. Detailed knowledge of the dimensions of the lumbar vertebrae and its findings will enhance positive contributions to the on-going efforts in scientific study and surgical operations. It will also improve current understanding of the anatomical basis of the spine with regards to physical therapy, rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Keywords: Lumbar, injuries, Nigerian.


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