A numerical simulation of soft-tissue strain and facet face interaction in the lumbar intervertebral joint under load was performed. The results, compared with a previous experimental sectioning study, showed that disk fiber strain was the main mechanism in shear resistance, except posterior shear, where the facets were main load bearing members. In axial compression, compression of the annulus was found, with a significant decrease in compressive strain resulting from annulus bulging, but no contact was found in the facet joints. The posterior ligaments, except for the facet capsules and ligamentum flavum, were found to be active only in flexion and lateral bending, while the facets and the disk both played major roles in resisting axial torsion moments.

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