Surgical Model of a Chronic Subluxation in Rabbits

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1988 (Oct);   11 (5):   366372

De Boer KF, McKnight ME.

Palmer College of Chiropractic,
Davenport, IA 52803.

Critically needed in chiropractic research is an animal model of a subluxation that will allow experimental study. Previous attempts in this, as well as other, laboratories have been only minimally successful. We report here the development of a straightforward surgical method of producing a misalignment of the thoracic spine in rabbits, one that appears to be satisfactory for further study. Six New Zealand rabbits were implanted with a 6-cm stainless steel bar wedged between adjacent spinous processes in such a way as to cause a rotatory misalignment of T5. Six additional surgical animals in which the bar was withdrawn served as controls.

All of the experimental, but none of the control, animals demonstrated an immediate dramatic rotatory effect after surgery. X-ray and palpatory confirmatory data were suggestive but not conclusive in demonstrating a continuing mimic subluxation. Visual confirmation of at least a slight vertebral abnormality was obtained in all the experimental animals. This type of surgical method may be satisfactory for further study of subluxations.


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