Facet loads in the canine lumbar spine before and after disc alteration

Richard D. Kahmann, Glenn R. Buttermann, Jack L Lewis, David S. Bradford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The effect of externally applied spinal loads on facet mechanics before and after facet capsulectomy and disc alteration was investigated. Four control and four chymopapain- treated specimens were tested. Facet load and resultant load location were determined in the unaltered state, after facet capsulectomy, and after discectomy using a newly developed, noninvasive measurement technique. Resultant contact load locations shifted in a predictable manner. Caudal shift in contact locations occurred with chymopapain treatment or discectomy but was variable with capsulectomy. Facet load changed with applied load magnitude and direction; no significant change was noted after intradiscal chymopapain, discectomy, or capsulectomy. The significance of the lack of force change with disc narrowing is unknown. Perhaps, observed facet degeneration results from a change in the joint motion and contact location rather than change in facet load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-978
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • Chymopapain
  • Contact
  • Disc
  • Facet
  • Load


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