Influence of Partial Lateral Corpectomy with and without Hemilaminectomy on Canine Thoracolumbar Stability: A Biomechanical Study


Corresponding Author

Franck Forterre, DVM, Diplomate ECVS, Small Animal Clinic, Department of surgery, University of Berne, Länggassstrasse 128, 3012 Berne, Switzerland.




To analyze the biomechanical changes induced by partial lateral corpectomy (PLC) and a combination of PLC and hemilaminectomy in a T13-L3 spinal segment in nonchondrodystrophic dogs.

Study Design

In vitro biomechanical cadaveric study.

Sample Population

T13-L3 spinal segments (n = 10) of nonchondrodystrophic dogs (weighing, 25–38 kg).


A computed tomography (CT) scan of each T13-L3 spinal segment was performed. A loading simulator for flexibility analysis was used to determine the range of motion (ROM) and neutral zone (NZ) during flexion/extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation. A servohydraulic testing machine was used to determine the changes in stiffness during compression, dorsoventral, and lateral shear. All spines were tested intact, after PLC in the left intervertebral space of L1-L2, and after a combination of PLC and hemilaminectomy.


Statistically significant increases in ROM and NZ (P < .05) were detected during flexion/extension and lateral bending when PLC was performed. A significant increase in ROM (P < .001) was noted during axial rotation and flexion after PLC and hemilaminectomy. Stiffness decreased significantly during compression and dorsoventral shear after each procedure. Decreased stiffness during lateral shear was only significant after a combination of both procedures.


PLC might lead to some spinal instability; these changes are enhanced when a hemilaminectomy is added.