A numerical simulation was devised to determine ligament strains, facet face interaction, and disk fiber strain in the lumbar intervertebral joint under load. This technique uses experimentally derived load deflection and morphologic data from lumbar cadaver specimens from which initial and displaced soft tissue attachment points can be calculated. This allows the strain data to be derived. The effect of disk bulge is also considered. The calculated strains of most ligaments except the facet capsular ligaments were found to be insensitive to anatomical measurement variability of ± 1 mm.

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