A numerical algorithm is used to estimate in-vivo segmental stiffness properties of individual spine segments based upon existing load-displacement data. A static nonlinear finite element model stimulates a pathological spine and corrective instrumentation system. A systematic procedure for establishing the model’s stiffness parameters is described, in the form of a nonlinear constrained optimal design problem. The numerical method is demonstrated using as an example a case of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis requiring corrective surgery.

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