Mathematical models of the human spine can be used to investigate spinal biomechanics without the difficulties, limitations, and ethical concerns associated with physical experimentation. Validation of such models is necessary to ensure that the modeled system behavior accurately represents the physics of the actual system. The goal of this work was to validate a medical image-based nonlinear lumbosacral spine finite element model of a healthy 20-yr-old female subject under physiological moments. Range of motion (ROM), facet joint forces (FJF), and intradiscal pressure (IDP) were compared with experimental values and validated finite element models from the literature. The finite element model presented in this work was in good agreement with published experimental studies and finite element models under pure moments. For applied moments of 7.5 N·m, the ROM in flexion–extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending were 39 deg, 16 deg, and 28 deg, respectively. Excellent agreement was observed between the finite element model and experimental data for IDP under pure compressive loading. The predicted FJFs were lower than those of the experimental results and validated finite element models for extension and torsion, likely due to the nondegenerate properties chosen for the intervertebral disks and morphology of the young female spine. This work is the first to validate a computational lumbar spine model of a young female subject. This model will serve as a valuable tool for predicting orthopedic spinal injuries, studying the effect of intervertebral disk replacements using advanced biomaterials, and investigating soft tissue degeneration.

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