Stress Analysis of the Human Ligamentous Lumber Spine-From Computer-Assisted Tomography to Finite Element Analysis


Mechanical Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


Detailed investigation on biomechanics of a complex structure such as the human lumbar spine requires the use of advanced computer-based technique for both the geometrical reconstruction and the stress analysis. In the present study, the computer-assisted tomography (CAT) and finite element method (FEM) are merged to perform detailed three dimensional nonlinear analysis of the human ligamentous lumbar spine. The details of the development of a three dimensional model of the lumbar spine using CAT images are initially described. Then the predicted nonlinear response of the system subjected to axial compression force is presented. The stress analysis is performed using a finite element code developed by Shirazi-Adl.