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Concept: Lumbar vertebrae


BACKGROUND: Cycling is considered to be a highly beneficial sport for significantly enhancing cardiovascular fitness in individuals, yet studies show little or no corresponding improvements in bone mass. METHODS: A scientific literature search on studies discussing bone mass and bone metabolism in cyclists was performed to collect all relevant published material up to April 2012. Descriptive, cross-sectional, longitudinal and interventional studies were all reviewed. Inclusion criteria were met by 31 studies. RESULTS: Heterogeneous studies in terms of gender, age, data source, group of comparison, cycling level or modality practiced among others factors showed minor but important differences in results. Despite some controversial results, it has been observed that adult road cyclists participating in regular training have low bone mineral density in key regions (for example, lumbar spine). Conversely, other types of cycling (such as mountain biking), or combination with other sports could reduce this unsafe effect. These results cannot yet be explained by differences in dietary patterns or endocrine factors. CONCLUSIONS: From our comprehensive survey of the current available literature it can be concluded that road cycling does not appear to confer any significant osteogenic benefit. The cause of this may be related to spending long hours in a weight-supported position on the bike in combination with the necessary enforced recovery time that involves a large amount of time sitting or lying supine, especially at the competitive level. See related commentary

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Bone density, Density, Skeletal system, Lumbar vertebrae, Cycling, Bicycle


Bony defects in the spine are divided into three main types: spondylolysis, pediculolysis, and laminolysis. Lumbar spondylolysis is a well-known stress fracture that occurs frequently in adolescent athletes. Pediculolysis means stress fracture of the pedicle, which sometimes occurs subsequent to unilateral spondylolysis. Laminolysis is a rarely reported stress fracture similar to spondylolysis and pediculolysis that sometimes causes low back pain (LBP). However, its pathomechanism has not been elucidated. Recently, we encountered four adolescent athletes with symptomatic laminolysis. Mean age was 15.8 (range 15-17) years. All subjects reported severe LBP exacerbated by extension of the lumbar spine, and radiology revealed two types of laminolysis: hemilaminar type and intralaminar type. To elucidate the mechanisms of each type, we reviewed a biomechanical study, and found that the hemilaminar type was thought to be subsequent to contralateral spondylolysis, while the intralaminar type might be a result of a stress fracture due to repetitive extension loading.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Back pain, Lumbar vertebrae, Acupuncture, Massage, Spondylolysis


INTRODUCTION: Sweet’s syndrome is an acute neutrophilic dermatosis characterized by a diffuse dermal infiltrate of mature neutrophils. In most cases, it occurs as an isolated phenomenon (idiopathic Sweet’s syndrome) but it can be drug induced or associated with a variety of underlying diseases such as infections, neoplasms, and chronic inflammatory diseases. The association between Sweet’s syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis is rare. Only a few cases have been reported in the literature. We report a new case in which we describe an outbreak of acute neutrophilic dermatosis revealing ankylosing spondylitis. CASE PRESENTATION: A 33-year-old Moroccan man presented with large-joint polyarthralgia, inflammatory pain in his buttocks and lower lumbar spine, fever and skin lesions. On examination, the patient had a low-grade fever, six tender but not swollen joints, limitation of motion of the lumbar spine, and painful erythematous maculopapules over his face, neck, and hands. Laboratory tests showed hyperleukocytosis, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. The immunological tests and infectious disease markers were negative. Investigations for an underlying neoplastic disease remained negative. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a bilateral sacroiliitis. Skin biopsy findings were consistent with Sweet’s syndrome. The diagnosis of Sweet’s syndrome associated with ankylosing spondylitis was established. Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs were started and the patient showed rapid clinical and biological improvement. CONCLUSION: Three observations of the association between Sweet’s syndrome and spondylarthropathy have been reported in the literature. The cause of this association remains unclear. Some hypotheses have been developed, but further studies are needed to confirm or refute them.

Concepts: Inflammation, Cancer, Infectious disease, Infection, Lumbar vertebrae, Rheumatoid arthritis, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, C-reactive protein


Spinal immobilisation during extrication of patients in road traffic collisions is routinely used despite the lack of evidence for this practice. In a previous proof of concept study (n=1), we recorded up to four times more cervical spine movement during extrication using conventional techniques than self-controlled extrication.

Concepts: Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebral column, Cervical vertebrae, Thoracic vertebrae, Road transport, Road accidents, Car safety


Background Sclerostin is an osteocyte-derived inhibitor of osteoblast activity. The monoclonal antibody romosozumab binds to sclerostin and increases bone formation. Methods In a phase 2, multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, eight-group study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of romosozumab over a 12-month period in 419 postmenopausal women, 55 to 85 years of age, who had low bone mineral density (a T score of -2.0 or less at the lumbar spine, total hip, or femoral neck and -3.5 or more at each of the three sites). Participants were randomly assigned to receive subcutaneous romosozumab monthly (at a dose of 70 mg, 140 mg, or 210 mg) or every 3 months (140 mg or 210 mg), subcutaneous placebo, or an open-label active comparator - oral alendronate (70 mg weekly) or subcutaneous teriparatide (20 μg daily). The primary end point was the percentage change from baseline in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine at 12 months. Secondary end points included percentage changes in bone mineral density at other sites and in markers of bone turnover. Results All dose levels of romosozumab were associated with significant increases in bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, including an increase of 11.3% with the 210-mg monthly dose, as compared with a decrease of 0.1% with placebo and increases of 4.1% with alendronate and 7.1% with teriparatide. Romosozumab was also associated with large increases in bone mineral density at the total hip and femoral neck, as well as transitory increases in bone-formation markers and sustained decreases in a bone-resorption marker. Except for mild, generally nonrecurring injection-site reactions with romosozumab, adverse events were similar among groups. Conclusions In postmenopausal women with low bone mass, romosozumab was associated with increased bone mineral density and bone formation and with decreased bone resorption. (Funded by Amgen and UCB Pharma; number, NCT00896532 .).

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Clinical trial, Bone density, Density, Skeletal system, Lumbar vertebrae, Intramembranous ossification


Study Design Literature review. Objective The aim of this literature review was to detail the effects of smoking in spine surgery and examine whether perioperative smoking cessation could mitigate these risks. Methods A review of the relevant literature examining the effects of smoking and cessation on surgery was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases. Results Current smokers are significantly more likely to experience pseudarthrosis and postoperative infection and to report lower clinical outcomes after surgery in both the cervical and lumbar spines. Smoking cessation can reduce the risks of these complications depending on both the duration and timing of tobacco abstinence. Conclusion Smoking negatively affects both the objective and subjective outcomes of surgery in the lumbar and cervical spine. Current literature supports smoking cessation as an effective tool in potentially mitigating these unwanted outcomes. Future investigations in this field should be directed toward developing a better understanding of the complex relationship between smoking and poorer outcomes in spine surgery as well as developing more efficacious cessation strategies.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebral column, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Cervical vertebrae, Thoracic vertebrae


A 29-year-old woman presented to the spine clinic with pain in her right leg, accompanied by paresthesia. MRI of the lumbar spine revealed a lumbar disk herniation resulting in substantial spinal stenosis and nerve-root compression.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Surgery, Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebral column, Neurology, Spinal stenosis, Human leg, The Spine


The objective of this study was to examine the effect of wearing restrictive trousers on lumbar spine movement, trunk muscle activity and low back discomfort (LBD) in simulations of manual material handling (MMH) tasks. Twenty-eight young adults participated in the study performing box lifting, liquid container handling while squatting, and forward reaching while sitting on a task chair when wearing tight pants (sizes too small for the wearer) vs. fit pants (correct size according to anthropometry). Each task was repeated three times and video recordings were used as a basis for measuring lumbar range of motion (LRoM). The response was normalized in terms on baseline hip mobility. Trunk muscle activity of rectus abdominis (RA) and erector spinae (ES) muscles were also measured in each trial and normalized. At the close of each trial, participants rated LBD using a visual analog scale. Results revealed significant effects of both pants and task types on the normalized LRoM, trunk muscle activity and subjective ratings of LBD. The LRoM was higher and trunk muscle (ES) activity was lower for participants when wearing tight pants, as compared to fit pants. Discomfort ratings were significantly higher for tight pants than fit. These results provide guidance for recommendations on work clothing fit in specific types of MMH activities in order to reduce the potential of low-back pain among younger workers in industrial companies.

Concepts: Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebral column, Activity, Task, Chair, Trousers, Clothing, Leggings


INTRODUCTION: Spondylolysis is most commonly observed in the lumbar spine, particularly L5, and is associated with spondylolisthesis, or anterior “slippage” of a vertebra in relation to an adjacent vertebra. Isthmic spondylolisthesis is the result of a pars interarticularis defect and will be the only type of spondylolisthesis addressed in this review. CONCLUSIONS: Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis represent a relatively common cause of low back pain, especially in young athletes, and a less common cause of neurologic compromise. When discovered in a symptomatic patient with corroborating imaging findings, early intervention provides an excellent prognosis. Herein, we review the anatomy and pathology of spondylosis and spondylolisthesis of the L5 vertebra.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebra, Spondylolisthesis, Medical school, Spondylolysis, Pars interarticularis


This report describes the imaging findings in three patients who developed lumbar spine osteolysis after posterior spinal fusion using rhBMP-2. These cases demonstrate the variable course of osteolysis, as well as the importance of recognizing its radiological appearances to prevent confusion with infection following spinal fusion.

Concepts: Bone, Lumbar vertebrae, Vertebral column, Orthopedic surgery, Spinal fusion