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Biomechanical effects of thoracic flexibility and stiffness on lumbar spine loading: A finite element analysis study – Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

This article discusses the effects of thoracic stiffness on mechanical stress in the lumbar spine during motion. The study created stiff and flexible spine models to evaluate the impact of preoperative thoracic flexibility. Total laminectomy was performed at L4/5 in both models, and preoperative and postoperative biomechanical investigations were conducted. The results showed that as the thoracic spine became more flexible, lumbar disc stress, lumbar range of motion (ROM), and pars interarticularis stress at L5 decreased. In contrast, the stiff thoracic spine led to increased stress in these areas. Overall, the findings suggest that thoracic spine flexibility can reduce lumbar spine loading and potentially help prevent stress-related disorders

Summarised by Mr Mo Akmal – Lead Spinal Surgeon
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Published article

CONCLUSIONS: Biomechanically, disc stress and pars interarticularis stress decrease in the flexible thoracic spine. Flexibility of the thoracic spine reduces lumbar spine loading and could help to prevent stress-related disorders.

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World Neurosurg. 2024 Jan 25:S1878-8750(24)00124-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2024.01.112. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTOBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of thoracic stiffness on mechanical stress in the lumbar spine during motion.METHODS: To evaluate the effect of preoperative thoracic flexibility, stiff and flexible spine models were created by changing the material properties of ligaments and discs in the thoracic spine.,

World Neurosurg. 2024 Jan 25:S1878-8750(24)00124-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2024.01.112. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of thoracic stiffness on mechanical stress in the lumbar spine during motion.

METHODS: To evaluate the effect of preoperative thoracic flexibility, stiff and flexible spine models were created by changing the material properties of ligaments and discs in the thoracic spine. Total laminectomy was performed at L4/5 in stiff and flexible models. A biomechanical investigation and finite element analysis were performed preoperatively and postoperatively. A hybrid loading condition was applied, and the range of motion (ROM) at each segment and maximum stress in the discs and pars interarticularis were computed.

RESULTS: In the preoperative model with the stiff thoracic spine, lumbar disc stress, lumbar ROM, and pars interarticularis stress at L5 increased. In contrast, as the thoracic spine became more flexible, lumbar disc stress, lumbar ROM, and pars interarticularis stress at L5 decreased. All L4/5 laminectomy models had increased instability and ROM at L4/5. To evaluate the effect of thoracic flexibility on the lumbar spine, differences between the stiff and flexible thoracic spine were examined: Differences in ROM and intervertebral disc stress at L4/5 in flexion between the stiff and flexible thoracic spine were respectively 0.7° and 0.0179 MPa preoperatively and 1.5° and 0.0367 MPa in the L4/5 laminectomy model.

CONCLUSIONS: Biomechanically, disc stress and pars interarticularis stress decrease in the flexible thoracic spine. Flexibility of the thoracic spine reduces lumbar spine loading and could help to prevent stress-related disorders.

PMID:38280628 | DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2024.01.112

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Biomechanical effects of thoracic flexibility and stiffness on lumbar spine loading: A finite element analysis study

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World Neurosurg. 2024 Jan 25:S1878-8750(24)00124-4. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2024.01.112. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTOBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of thoracic stiffness on mechanical stress in the lumbar spine during motion.METHODS: To evaluate the effect of preoperative thoracic flexibility, stiff and flexible spine models were created by changing the material properties of ligaments and discs in the thoracic spine.

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