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This comprehensive anatomical study on bones and X-rays regarding pedicles of lumbar …

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Material and Method
- Morphometry of Vertebral Pedicles: a Comprehensive Anatomical Study in the Lumbar Region

The study was divided in two parts. In the first part of the present work fully ossified 200 male and 200 female lumbar vertebrae greater than 20 years of age were used for direct gross morphometry of the pedicles. They were collected from preserved sets of bones obtained from individual cadavers received at Department of Anatomy, KMC, Mangalore. Only the normal and completely ossified vertebrae were included in the study. Lumbar vertebrae for osteometric study were kept on the table and different measurements were taken directly on the bones. Sliding vernier caliper was used to measure the different parameters. The Vernier caliper is an extremely precise measuring instrument; the reading error is 1/20 mm = 0.05 mm. To ensure that the full diameters were measured, the different axes of the pedicles were kept perpendicular to the caliper. The jaws were closed lightly on the vertebral pedicles. Each parameter was measured twice and then recorded. The methodology followed was as described in Hrdlicka's Practical Anthropometry (1952). Following measurements were performed on both sides and were recorded in mm.

a. The deepest points on lateral and medial aspects, at right angles to the long axis of the pedicles were considered for the measurement of minimum horizontal diameter (d) (Fig. 1A).
b.  On the upper and lower margins of the pedicle in the vertical plane two points just opposite to each other from the lateral aspect were considered for the measurement of the vertical height (v) (Fig. 1B).
c.  The anteroposterior length (1) of the pedicle was measured along the long axis of the pedicle from its superior aspect on both the sides of the pedicle separately (Fig. 1C).

In the second part of the present work, plain anteroposterior radiographs of the lumbar spine of 500 individuals (250 males and 250 females) from different age groups (age span of 10 years) ranging from 10-70 years were studied. No individuals were exposed to X-rays; rather radiographs were collected from patient records of different emergency hospitals in Mangalore. Only easily readable x-ray films, certified as normal spine radiographs by a radiology expert were used in the study. Radiographs from male and female individuals were categorized separately into six age groups, each with age span of 10 years. Distribution of samples according to sex and different age groups are shown in Table I.

Two different diameters of the pedicles seen as extremes of their outline in the x-ray films were measured bilaterally in two planes perpendicular to each other (Fig. 2). The maximum dimension of the pedicle in the sagittal plane was recorded as vertical diameter (h) in mm. The maximum diameter of the pedicle in horizontal plane at right angles to the vertical diameter was recorded as (t) in mm. Terminal points of the pedicle were labeled by a fine marker. Radiographs were scanned and then computer was used to measure the diameters of the right and left pedicles of all the lumbar vertebrae and values were recorded in mm.

 Statistical Analysis. All the results have been expressed as mean ± SEM. 'Z' test was employed for all the statistical comparisons. Any value of PO.05 or Z (Normal deviate) > 1.96 was regarded as significant.

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