In silico evaluation of a new composite disc substitute with a L3-L5 lumbar spine finite element model
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When the intervertebral disc is removed to relieve chronic pain, subsequent segment stabilization should restore the functional mechanics of the native disc. Because of partially constrained motions and the lack of intrinsic rotational stiffness ball-on-socket implants present many disadvantages. Composite disc substitutes mimicking healthy disc structures should be able to assume the role expected for a disc substitute with fewer restrictions than ball-on-socket implants. A biomimetic composite disc prototype including artificial nucleus fibre-reinforced annulus and endplates was modelled as an L4–L5 disc substitute within a L3–L5 lumbar spine finite element model. Different device updates, i.e. changes of material properties fibre distributions and volume fractions and nucleus placements were proposed. Load- and displace- ment-controlled rotations were simulated with and without body weight applied. The original prototype reduced greatly the flexibility of the treated segment with signifi- cant adjacent level effects under displacement-controlled or hybrid rotations. Device updates allowed restoring large part of the global axial and sagittal rotational flexibility predicted with the intact model. Material properties played a major role, but some other updates were identified to potentially tune the device behaviour against specific motions. All device versions altered the coupled interseg- mental shear deformations affecting facet joint contact through contact area displacements. Loads in the bony endplates adjacent to the implants increased as the implant stiffness decreased but did not appear to be a strong limi- tation for the implant biomechanical and mechanobiolog- ical functionality. In conclusion, numerical results given by biomimetic composite disc substitutes were encouraging with greater potential than that offered by ball-on-socket implants
CitationNoailly, J. [et al.]. In silico evaluation of a new composite disc substitute with a L3-L5 lumbar spine finite element model. "European spine journal", 21 Juny 2012, vol. Supl5, p. S675-S687.
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