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Australas Phys Eng Sci Med. 2013 Mar;36(1):27-33. doi: 10.1007/s13246-013-0182-4. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Straightened cervical lordosis causes stress concentration: a finite element model study.

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Hangzhou Red Cross Hospital, 208 Huancheng East Road, Hangzhou, 310003, Zhejiang, China.


In this study, we propose a finite element analysis of the complete cervical spine with straightened and normal physiological curvature by using a specially designed modelling system. An accurate finite element model is established to recommend plausible approaches to treatment of cervical spondylosis through the finite element analysis results. There are few reports of biomechanics influence of the straightened cervical curve. It is difficult to measure internal responses of cervical spine directly. However, the finite element method has been reported to have the capability to quantify both external and internal responses to mechanical loading, such as the strain and stress distribution of spinal components. We choose a subject with a straightened cervical spine from whom to collect the CT scan data, which formed the basis of the finite element analysis. By using a specially designed modelling system, a high quality finite element model of the complete cervical spine with straightened curvature was generated, which was then mapped to reconstruct a normal physiological curvature model by a volumetric mesh deformation method based on discrete differential properties. Then, the same boundary conditions were applied to do a comparison. The result demonstrated that the active movement range of straightened cervical spine decreased by 24-33 %, but the stress increased by 5-95 %. The stress was concentrated at the facet joint cartilage, uncovertebral joint and the disk. The results suggest that cervical lordosis may have a direct impact on cervical spondylosis treatment. These results may be useful for clinical treatment of cervical spondylosis with straightened curvature.

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