Osteoporotic lumbar spine finite element analysis

S. I. Chen, Chih-Han Chang, R. M. Lin, T. S. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to investigate the fracture behavior of osteoporotic lumbar spine using the three dimensional finite element approach. For compression loading in normal spine, due to the spongy bone strength was far weaker than cortical shell, end-plate would deform into a concave shape in the center region. The end-plate then distributed the loading to the cortical shell and resulted in a bending effect on cortical shell which generated the tension stresses in the anterior superior region of the cortical shell. In the simulation of osteoporotic spine. When the Young's modulus of the cortical shell reduced less than 75% and spongy bone decreased more than cortical shell, the end-plate concave deformation become more serious, which resulted in biconcave fracture of the spine. When the Young's modulus of the cortical shell reduced less than 75% (accompany with spongy bone lose) this would enhanced superior tension stress of cortical shell and probably cause the anterior wedge fracture of the spine. When the cortical shell vanished (cortical shell Young's modulus reduced 99%), the stresses of the spongy bone increased dramatically which might be the reason of the crush fracture of the spine. Considering the flexion loading condition, the stresses pattern of normal spine model was altered into a more crucial case, and this phenomenon was more sensitive in osteoporotic model which will increase the probability of osteoporotic fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 9

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics

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