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Influences of denucleation on contact force of facet joints under whole body vibration

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To investigate the influence of the injured disc, frequency, load and damping on the facet contact forces of the low lumbar spine on the condition of whole body vibration, a detailed 3-D nonlinear finite element model was created based on the actual geometrical data of embalmed vertebrae of lumbar spine. The denucleation and facetectomy, together with removal of the capsular ligaments was employed to mimic the injury conditions of lumbar spine after surgery. The compression cyclic force was assumed to mimic the dynamic loads of transport vehicles. The results show that the high frequency vibration might increase both of the value and the vibration amplitude of facet contact forces of the lumbar spine under whole body vibration. The nucleus removal may increase significantly the facet contact forces. Although damping can decrease the vibration amplitude of facet contact forces for intact models, it has less effect on the vibration amplitude of facet contact force for the denucleated models. The denucleation of intervertebral discs is more harmful to the facet articulation on the condition of whole body vibration.
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Keywords: Damping; Facet contact force; Finite element dynamic analysis; Frequency; Lumbar spine; Whole body vibration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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