[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The understanding of the individual shape and mobility of the lumbar spine are key factors for the prevention and treatment of low back pain. The influence of age and sex on the total lumbar lordosis and the range of motion as well as on different lumbar sub-regions (lower, middle and upper lordosis) in asymptomatic subjects still merits discussion, since it is essential for patient-specific treatment and evidence-based distinction between painful degenerative pathologies and asymptomatic aging.
A novel non-invasive measuring system was used to assess the total and local lumbar shape and its mobility of 323 asymptomatic volunteers (age: 20-75 yrs; BMI <26.0 kg/m2; males/females: 139/184). The lumbar lordosis for standing and the range of motion for maximal upper body flexion (RoF) and extension (RoE) were determined. The total lordosis was significantly reduced by approximately 20%, the RoF by 12% and the RoE by 31% in the oldest (>50 yrs) compared to the youngest age cohort (20-29 yrs). Locally, these decreases mostly occurred in the middle part of the lordosis and less towards the lumbo-sacral and thoraco-lumbar transitions. The sex only affected the RoE.
During aging, the lower lumbar spine retains its lordosis and mobility, whereas the middle part flattens and becomes less mobile. These findings lay the ground for a better understanding of the incidence of level- and age-dependent spinal disorders, and may have important implications for the clinical long-term success of different surgical interventions.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e116186. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the number of spinal movements in the sagittal plane in daily life, mainly due to the lack of adequate techniques to assess these movements. Our aim was to measure these movements in asymptomatic volunteers.
European Spine Journal 09/2014; · 2.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anterior shear has been implicated as a risk factor in spinal injuries. A 3D nonlinear poroelastic finite element model study of a lumbar motion segment L4-L5 was performed to predict the temporal shear response under various single and combined shear loads. Effects of nucleotomy and facetectomy as well as changes in the posture and facet gap distance were analyzed as well. Comparison of the predicted anterior displacement and stiffness response with available measurements indicates satisfactory agreement. Under shear loads up to 400N, the model predicted an almost linear displacement response. With increasing shear load and/or compressive preload, the stiffening behavior becomes evident, primarily due to stretched collagen fibers and greater facet interactions. Removal of the facets markedly decreases the segmental stiffness in shear and thus highlights the importance of the facets in resisting shear force; 61-87% of the applied shear force is transmitted through the facets depending on the magnitude of the applied shear and compressive preload. Fluid exudation during the day as well as reduced facet gap distance and a more extended posture yielded higher facet joint forces. The shear resistance of the motion segment remains almost the same with time despite the transfer of load sharing from the disc to facets. Large forces on facet joints are computed especially under greater compression preloads, shear forces and extension rotations, as time progresses and with smaller gap distances. The disc contribution on the other hand increases under larger shear loads, smaller compression preloads, flexed postures, larger facet gap distances and at transient periods.
Journal of biomechanics 08/2013; · 2.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently, there are a number of nucleus replacements under development. The important concern is how well these implants duplicate the mechanical function of the native nucleus. This finite element model study aimed to investigate the influence of different nucleus replacements on the mechanical response of the disc. Models included partial, full, over-sized, partially saturated, elastic and poroelastic solid replacements. Over-sized nucleus replacements up to 25% yielded results that were comparable to those in the intact state. Differences were much greater in cases with under-sized nucleus replacements. The effect was most pronounced for the 75% under-sized replacement that resembled the condition with a full nucleotomy. Nucleus implants with elastic properties substantially altered load transmission when 10% under-sized and over-sized replacements were considered. Compared to intact, the under-sized implants should be avoided when using biphasic materials with properties similar to the native nucleus, whereas for elastic replacements both under- and over-sized implants should not be used.
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 03/2013; · 1.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Capabilities of the commercial finite element package ABAQUS in simulating frictionless contact between two saturated porous structures were evaluated and compared with those of an open source code, FEBio. In ABAQUS, both the default contact implementation and another algorithm based on an iterative approach requiring script programming were considered. Test simulations included a patch test of two cylindrical slabs in a gapless contact and confined compression conditions; a confined compression test of a porous cylindrical slab with a spherical porous indenter; and finally two unconfined compression tests of soft tissues mimicking diarthrodial joints. The patch test showed almost identical results for all algorithms. On the contrary, the confined and unconfined compression tests demonstrated large differences related to distinct physical and boundary conditions considered in each of the three contact algorithms investigated in this study. In general, contact with non-uniform gaps between fluid-filled porous structures could be effectively simulated with either ABAQUS or FEBio. The user should be aware of the parameter definitions, assumptions and limitations in each case, and take into consideration the physics and boundary conditions of the problem of interest when searching for the most appropriate model.
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 12/2012; · 1.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently, numerous hydrogels are under examination as potential nucleus replacements. The clinical success, however, depends on how well the mechanical function of the host structure is restored. This study aimed to evaluate the extent to and mechanisms by which surgery for nucleus replacements influence the mechanical behaviour of the disc. The effects of an annulus defect with and without nucleus replacement on disc height and nucleus pressure were measured using 24 ovine motion segments. The following cases were considered: intact; annulus incision repaired by suture and glue; annulus incision with removal and re-implantation of nucleus tissue repaired by suture and glue or plug. To identify the likely mechanisms observed in vitro, a finite-element model of a human disc (L4-L5) was employed. Both studies were subjected to physiological cycles of compression and recovery. A repaired annulus defect did not influence the disc behaviour in vitro, whereas additional nucleus removal and replacement substantially decreased disc stiffness and nucleus pressure. Model predictions demonstrated the substantial effects of reductions in replaced nucleus water content, bulk modulus and osmotic potential on disc height loss and pressure, similar to measurements. In these events, the compression load transfer in the disc markedly altered by substantially increasing the load on the annulus when compared with the nucleus. The success of hydrogels for nucleus replacements is not only dependent on the implant material itself but also on the restoration of the environment perturbed during surgery. The substantial effects on the disc response of disruptions owing to nucleus replacements can be simulated by reduced nucleus water content, elastic modulus and osmotic potential.
Journal of The Royal Society Interface 02/2012; 9(73):1869-79. · 3.86 Impact Factor