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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6741295, 8 pages
Research Article

A Comparison of Surgical Invasions for Spinal Nerve Ligation with or without Paraspinal Muscle Removal in a Rat Neuropathic Pain Model

1Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 600 Yi Shan Road, Shanghai 200233, China
2Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, 555 Zu Chong Zhi Road, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 3 February 2016; Revised 10 July 2016; Accepted 20 July 2016

Academic Editor: Adair Santos

Copyright © 2016 Yi-Gang Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


L5 spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats is one of the most popular models for studying neuropathic pain because of its high reproducibility. During the surgery, a part of the L5 paraspinal muscle is usually removed, which produces extra trauma and may potentially affect the physiological processes involved in neuropathic pain. To reduce the surgical trauma, the paraspinal muscle retraction was developed for exposure of the spinal nerve. The current study was aimed at comparing the surgical invasions between the L5 SNL models with paraspinal muscle removal or retraction. The results showed that both methods induced similar neuropathic pain behavior. However, the paraspinal muscle retraction group exhibited an average of 2.7 mg less blood loss than the muscle removal group. This group also showed a significantly lower increase in serum myoglobin and creatine phosphokinase levels on postoperative days 1 and 2, as well as a lower increase in interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 levels on postoperative day 1. The paraspinal muscle maintained normal morphological features following paraspinal muscle retraction. Our results indicate that the SNL rat model with paraspinal muscle retraction is a reliable physiological model that is reproducible, readily available, and less invasive than the model with muscle removal.