A Finite Element Model Technique to Determine the Mechanical Response of a Lumbar Spine Segment Under Complex Loads

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This study presents a CT-based finite element model of the lumbar spine taking into account all function-related boundary conditions, such as anisotropy of mechanical properties, ligaments, contact elements, mesh size, etc. Through advanced mesh generation and employment of compound elements, the developed model is capable of assessing the mechanical response of the examined spine segment for complex loading conditions, thus providing valuable insight on stress development within the model and allowing the prediction of critical loading scenarios. The model was validated through a comparison of the calculated force-induced inclination/deformation and a correlation of these data to experimental values. The mechanical response of the examined functional spine segment was evaluated, and the effect of the loading scenario determined for both vertebral bodies as well as the connecting intervertebral disc.

Alexander Tsouknidas (Corresponding Author) is with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Nikoalos Michailidis is with the Physical Metallurgy Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Department, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Savvas Savvakis is with the Laboratory of Applied Thermodynamics, Mechanical Engineering Department, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Kleovoulos Anagnostidis is with the Third Orthopaedic Department, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Konstantinos-Dionysios Bouzakis is with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Georgios Kapetanos is with the Third Orthopaedic Department, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece.