ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PDF OnlyHadjipavlou Alexander G.; Simmons, James W.; Yang, Jinping P.; Bi, LinXiang; Ansari, Ghulam A. S.; Kaphalia, Bhupendra S.; Simmons, David J.; Nicodemus, Clarence L.; Necessary, Jeffrey T.; Lane, ichard; Esch, OliverJournal of Spinal Disorders: August 1998 - p 312-317 Buy Abstract Summary Torsional injuries may be a precursor to intervertebral disc degeneration, but published rabbit models indicate a latent time of 6 months. We describe a rabbit model in which instability and disc degeneration appear within 3 months. Sixty-five male New Zealand rabbits underwent presurgical irradiation to inhibit heterotopic bone formation. Control animals then underwent either a soft-tissue release or facetectomy and capsulotomy, whereas experimental animals received surgery and an acute 30± torsional lumbar injury. Capsulotomy, as well as facetectomy without torsion, failed to effect disc degeneration. However, the rabbits that received torsion exhibited clear indications of degenerative disc changes (thinning, increased PLA2 levels, and decreased nucleus pulposus volume) within 60–90 days. The observations associate disc degeneration with a destabilizing acute torsional injury. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.