The purpose of this work was to determine the possible effects of isolated spinal ligament transection on the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. A finite element model of a lumbar spine was developed and validated against experimental data. The model was tested in the primary modes of spinal motion in the intact condition, followed by comparative analysis of isolated removal of each spinal ligament. Results showed that stress increased in the remaining ligaments once a ligament was removed, potentially leading to ligament damage. Results also showed changes in bone remodeling "stimulus" which could lead to changes in bone density. Isolated ligament transection had little effect on intervertebral disc pressures. All major biomechanical changes occurred at the same spinal level as the transected ligament, with minor changes at adjacent levels. The results of this work demonstrate that iatrogenic damage of spinal ligaments disturbs the load sharing within spinal-ligament complex and may induce significant clinical changes in the spinal motion segment.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Von Forell, Gregory Allen, "Biomechanical Implications of Lumbar Spinal Ligament TransectionA Finite Element Study" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 2931.
Gregory Von Forell, lumbar, spine, finite element analysis, ligament, biomechanics, spinal surgery