Hrafnhildur Hjaltadottir, Hanna Hebelka, Caroline Molinder, Helena Brisby, Adad Baranto

October 2019, pp 1 - 7 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-06159-y

First Online: 04 October 2019

Axial loading during MRI reveals insufficient effect of percutaneous interspinous implants (Aperius™ PerCLID™) on spinal canal area


To evaluate the effect on the spinal canal at the treated and adjacent level(s), in patients treated for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) with percutaneous interspinous process device (IPD) Aperius™ or open decompressive surgery (ODS), using axial loading of the spine during MRI (alMRI).


Nineteen LSS patients (mean age 67 years, range 49–78) treated with IPDs in 29 spine levels and 13 LSS patients (mean age 63 years, range 46–76) operated with ODS in 22 spine levels were examined with alMRI pre- and 3 months postoperatively. Radiological effects were evaluated by measuring the dural sac cross-sectional area (DSCSA) and by morphological grading of nerve root affection.


For the IPD group, no DSCSA increase was observed at the operated level (p = 0.42); however, a decrease was observed in adjacent levels (p = 0.05). No effect was seen regarding morphological grading (operated level: p = 0.71/adjacent level: p = 0.94). For the ODS group, beneficial effects were seen for the operated level, both regarding DSCSA (p < 0.001) and for morphological grading (p < 0.0001). No changes were seen for adjacent levels (DSCSA; p = 0.47/morphological grading: p = 0.95). Postoperatively, a significant difference between the groups existed at the operated level regarding both evaluated parameters (p < 0.003).


With the spine imaged in an axial loaded position, no significant radiological effects of an IPD could be detected postoperatively at the treated level, while increased DSCSA was displayed for the ODS group. In addition, reduced DSCSA in adjacent levels was detected for the IPD group. Thus, the beneficial effects of IPD implants on the spinal canal must be questioned.

Graphic abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Read Full Article