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Acta Bioeng Biomech. 2009;11(4):3-8.

Non-linearity of flexion-extension characteristics in spinal segments.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, University of Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Spinal biomechanics is still known just fragmentary since the only description by angle-torque characteristics without simultaneous recording of migration of the instantaneous helical axis (IHA) is not sufficient. Time-dependent flexion/extension following a cyclic laterally directed torque was measured at all six degrees of freedom by a highly precise custom-made 6D apparatus. In order to enhance the localizing resolution of IHA migration as the function of the flexional/extensional angle, small ranges of motion (ROM) were used at several degrees of pre-extension. 4 L3/L4, 3 L4/L5 and 2 T2/T3 human segments were investigated. In extensional motion, wide dorsal IHA-migrations were measured in lumbar segments and correlated with the distinct asymmetric shapes of the characteristics in extensional motion. The respective increase of differential stiffness could mainly be traced back to the enlarging geometrical moment of inertia of the segments by the dorsally migrating IHA. Both thoracic segments showed a predominant IHA-migration in cranial/caudal direction. A simple model makes it evident that the opposite curvature morphology of lumbar and thoracic joint facets conditions the different directions of IHA migration.

PMID:
20405809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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