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A forward dynamics simulation of human lumbar spine flexion predicting the load sharing of intervertebral discs, ligaments, and muscles.

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A forward dynamics simulation of human lumbar spine flexion predicting the load sharing of intervertebral discs, ligaments, and muscles.

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2015 Feb 5;

Authors: Rupp TK, Ehlers W, Karajan N, Günther M, Schmitt S

Determining the internal dynamics of the human spine’s biological structure is one essential step that allows enhanced understanding of spinal degeneration processes. The unavailability of internal load figures in other methods highlights the importance of the forward dynamics approach as the most powerful approach to examine the internal degeneration of spinal structures. Consequently, a forward dynamics full-body model of the human body with a detailed lumbar spine is introduced. The aim was to determine the internal dynamics and the contribution of different spinal structures to loading. The multi-body model consists of the lower extremities, two feet, shanks and thighs, the pelvis, five lumbar vertebrae, and a lumped upper body including the head and both arms. All segments are modelled as rigid bodies. 202 muscles (legs, back, abdomen) are included as Hill-type elements. 58 nonlinear force elements are included to represent all spinal ligaments. The lumbar intervertebral discs were modelled nonlinearly. As results, internal kinematics, muscle forces, and internal loads for each biological structure are presented. A comparison between the nonlinear (new, enhanced modelling approach) and linear (standard modelling approach, bushing) modelling approaches of the intervertebral disc is presented. The model is available to all researchers as ready-to-use C/C++ code within our in-house multi-body simulation code demoa with all relevant binaries included.

PMID: 25653134 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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