The influence of different magnitudes and methods of applying preload on fusion and disc replacement constructs in the lumbar spine: A finite element analysis

Zheng Cheng Zhong, Ching-Hua Hung, Hung Ming Lin, Ying Hui Wang, Chang Hung Huang, Chen Sheng Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a finite element (FE) analysis of the lumbar spine, different preload application methods that are used in biomechanical studies may yield diverging results. To investigate how the biomechanical behaviour of a spinal implant is affected by the method of applying the preload, hybrid-controlled FE analysis was used to evaluate the biomechanical behaviour of the lumbar spine under different preload application methods. The FE models of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and artificial disc replacement (ADR) were tested under three different loading conditions: a 150 N pressure preload (PP) and 150 and 400 N follower loads (FLs). This study analysed the resulting range of motion (ROM), facet contact force (FCF), inlay contact pressure (ICP) and stress distribution of adjacent discs. The FE results indicated that the ROM of both surgical constructs was related to the preload application method and magnitude; differences in the ROM were within 7% for the ALIF model and 32% for the ADR model. Following the application of the FL and after increasing the FL magnitude, the FCF of the ADR model gradually increased, reaching 45% at the implanted level in torsion. The maximum ICP gradually decreased by 34.1% in torsion and 28.4% in lateral bending. This study concluded that the preload magnitude and application method affect the biomechanical behaviour of the lumbar spine. For the ADR, remarkable alteration was observed while increasing the FL magnitude, particularly in the ROM, FCF and ICP. However, for the ALIF, PP and FL methods had no remarkable alteration in terms of ROM and adjacent disc stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-953
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013

Keywords

  • finite element method
  • follower load
  • lumbar spine
  • preload
  • spinal fusion
  • total disc replacement

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