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On the modeling of the intervertebral joint in multibody models for the spine


The need to develop feasible computational musculoskeletal models of the spine has led to the development of several multibody models. Central features in these works are models for the ligaments, muscles, and intervertebral joint. The purpose of the present paper is to show how experimental measurements of joint stiffnesses can be properly incorporated using a bushing element. The required refinements to existing bushing force functions in musculoskeletal software platforms are discussed and further implemented using a SpineBushing element specific to the intervertebral joint. Four simple lumbar spine models are then used to illustrate the accompanying improvements. Electronic supplemental material for this article includes a complementary review of formulations of stiffness matrices for the intervertebral joint. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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