Article

The role of the nucleus pulposus in neutral zone human lumbar intervertebral disc mechanics

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Journal of Biomechanics (Impact Factor: 2.5). 02/2008; 41(10):2104-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.04.037
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study the effect of denucleation on the mechanical behavior of the human lumbar intervertebral disc through a 2mm incision, two groups of six human cadaver lumbar spinal units were tested in axial compression, axial rotation, lateral bending and flexion/extension after incremental steps of "partial" denucleation. Neutral zone, range of motion, stiffness, intradiscal pressure and energy dissipation were measured; the results showed that the contribution of the nucleus pulposus to the mechanical behavior of the intervertebral disc was more dominant through the neutral zone than at the farther limits of applied loads and moments.

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