Creep Response of an Intervertebral Disc

This example problem demonstrates the use of coupled pore-pressure element technology to study the creep response of a lumbar motion segment under compression. The simulation reveals the interaction between the solid phase and the fluid phase in soft tissues.

Finite element analysis (FEA) has been applied in orthopedic biomechanics and spine biomechanics research since 1983. Typically, the IVD is modeled by solid elements. Many experimental observations, however, suggest that it is more realistic to consider soft tissue in the IVD as a biphasic model. For example, when the disc is compressed, fluid flows out from either the entire disc or from disc slices; therefore, one can consider the soft tissues in IVD to be a multiphase system.

Clinical studies shows that back pain is associated with the mechanical behavior of the intervertebral disc. A significant finding is that the degenerated intervertebral disc has lower permeability than a normal disc; therefore, using coupled pore-pressure elements in a lumbar motion segment simulation provides a realistic model for clinical study of degenerated intervertebral discs.




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