The development of a three-dimensional finite element model of a posteriorly plated canine cervical spine (C3-C6) including contact nonlinearities is described. The model was created from axial CT scans and the material properties were derived from the literature. The model demonstrated sufficient accuracy from the results of a mesh convergence test. Significant steps were taken toward establishing model validation by comparison of plate surface strains with a posteriorly plated canine cervical spine under three-point bending. This model was developed to better characterize the contact pressures at the various interfaces under average physiologic canine loading. The analysis showed that the screw–plate interfaces had the highest values of all the mechanical parameters evaluated.

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