The anatomy and biomechanics of the intervertebral motion segments is complex, and the development of degenerative motion segment disorders, which occur frequently, is poorly understood. When disc degeneration occurs at one level, whether treated or not, degeneration frequently develops at mobile segments above or below the degenerated or treated segments. After surgical treatment the process is referred to adjacent segment disc disease (ASDD), and the condition clinically called transition syndrome. We do not know at this time if the ASDD is caused by the neighboring degenerated disc or if they represent the natural progression of the lumbar degenerative processes. The development of ASDD is clinically problematic because it can cause pain and necessitate further surgical intervention. The development and severity of ASDD in disc degeneration is broadly believed to depend on a number of variables such as the severity of degeneration, the number of levels that are degenerated and the location of the degenerative disc. Thus it is important to understand how ASDD develops and progresses and how different variables that cause ASDD compare with reference to normal disc biomechanics. It is proposed to address this clinically relevant problem using poroelastic finite element models.

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