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Behaviour of functional spinal units under dynamic loading

In order to prevent work related back pain caused by common workloads, it is necessary to be able to estimate health risks on a reliable basis. Therefore, effects of mechanical loads, whole body vibration as well as repetitive impact loads are of special interest when it comes to the loading capacity of the spine.

For analysis of the dynamic behaviour, finite element models facilitate a detailed and customized analysis of the spine. However, prerequisite for such calculations is an in-depth experimental database for the validation of those models. Combined with information concerning the fatigue strength of spine specimens it should be possible to estimate the acceptable loads.

To improve the experimental database in terms of dynamic behaviour as well as fatigue strength of spinal specimens, this study tested 32 specimens of young donors. These tests applied axial compression and shear using different load levels and load combinations with quasistatic and dynamic frequencies. The frequency range for the dynamic testing was between 1 Hz and 12 Hz. Afterwards, 100,000 cycles of fatigue loading with 5 Hz at different load levels were performed. In addition to the measured forces and deformations, the recorded disc pressure provides a link to published in-vivo measurements. Individual disc characteristics and bony geometry based on CT scans are available as well.

The linear relationship between disc pressure and specimen loading, the marginal frequency dependency and the high fatigue strength of the specimen were remarkable results of this study. This might be attributed to the rather young donor age. Altogether, the present study delivers an extensive base for further FE studies.

G. Huber, H. Paetzold, K. Püschel, M. M. Morlock:
Behaviour of functional spinal units under dynamic loading. 
1. edition. Bremerhaven: Wirtschaftsverlag NW Verlag für neue Wissenschaft GmbH 2005. 
(Schriftenreihe der Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin: Forschungsbericht, Fb 1062)
ISBN: 3-86509-402-3, 160 pages, Papier

Signatures of the BAuA library:
B424/FU100/18; DM19/FU100/18; D122/FU100/18

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