Critical evaluation of predictive modelling of a cervical disc design

De Jongh, Cornel (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2007-12)


This thesis is concerned with the simulation of the in vivo biomechanical performance of a cervical disc replacement. A representative (averaged) maximum range of motion (ROM), determined by measurement of 10 student participants (5 male, 5 female), was used as head motion input to a simulation model of the cervical spine containing a disc implant at the C5/C6 intervertebral level. Intradiscal pressure, relative applied force on the C5 vertebrae, bending moments and vertebral rotations were recorded. The force and motion components of the results obtained were critically evaluated against the ISO and ASTM experimental protocol standards, probing the representativeness of these standards to the actual in vivo behaviour of the cervical functional spinal unit. Further, the wear resulting from a lifetime (10 million cycles) of the ISO prescribed -and simulation determined input cycles was simulated using a linear wear model with a triangulation technique for volume lost due to wear, and compared to in vitro results in the literature. The inputs used for the wear model were determined from a validated non-linear static contact finite element method (FEM) model. The simulation “chain” shows great potential as a comparative tool for the preexperimental testing of spinal implant designs and may be used with relative success as an alternative to expensive prototype testing.

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