Changes in the biomechanical properties of fresh cadaveric spinal specimens due to long-term freeze storage and long test periods have been investigated. Fresh cadaveric specimens were divided into three groups: Group A specimens were tested fresh on the 1st day and 13 subsequent days; Group B specimens were tested on the 1st day, frozen in sealed bags at −18°C for 21 days, and tested for 13 consecutive days after thawing; and Group C specimens were frozen for up to 232 days and tested for 14 consecutive days after thawing. We could not find any significant differences between the behavior of the three test groups. This implies that freezing and storage, even for long periods, do not significantly alter the physical properties of cadaveric spinal specimens. Concerning the differences observed on a daily basis, the mean value of the maximum displacement for the 1st day did not differ significantly from the corresponding mean value for the 13 consecutive days. This was true for all three groups, although there was some indication that the fresh group specimens showed greater variation that the two frozen groups.
Keywords: Freeze storage; Long-term testing; Biomechanics; Spine