Abstract

It is known that surgery performed at one level in the spine affects the biomechanical characteristics of adjacent levels. Study of biomechanical response such as change in flexibility at the level of surgery as well as change in motions at the adjacent levels to applied multiplaner loadings will help to understand effects of surgery and rehabilitation requirements in these tissues. Experimental studies on the effect of large number of different surgeries on the stability of cervical spine are very expensive and time consuming if not impossible. Finite element modeling can be effectively used under these circumstances. Recent developments in this area have produced 2 segment (C4-C6) finite element models (Yoganandan et al., 1996). Three-motion segment model becomes necessary to understand the unconstrained effect of different surgical procedures performed at the middle level. The present study focuses on the biomechanical characteristics of a three motion segment model (C4-C7) so that it is possible to study the effect of surgery at the C5-C6 level without any interference from either the applied loading or the boundary conditions. The three-motion segment finite element model was validated under pure flexion and torsion moment loadings.

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