The human spine experiences complex loading in vivo; however, simplifications to these loading conditions are commonly made in computational and experimental protocols. Pure moments are often used in cadaveric preparations to replicate in vivo loading conditions, and previous studies have shown this method adequately predicts range of motion behavior (1, 2). It is unclear what effect pure moment loading has on the tissue-level internal mechanical parameters such as stresses in the annulus fibrosus and facet contact parameters. Recent advances in musculoskeletal modeling have elucidated previously unknown quantities of the musculature recruitment patterns such as times, forces, and directions. The advancements are especially relevant in cases of surgical intervention because the spinal musculature has been reported to play a critical role in providing additional stability to the spine when defects such as discectomy and nucleotomy are involved (2). Thus, the aim of the study was to determine the importance of computational loading conditions on the resultant global ranges of motion, as well as the tissue-level predictions of annulus fibrosus stresses, and facet contact pressures, forces, and areas.

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