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Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;126(15):2852-8.

Formative mechanism of intracanal fracture fragments in thoracolumbar burst fractures: a finite element study.

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1
Department of Spine Surgery, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200065, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thoracolumbar burst fracture is a common clinical injury, and the fracture mechanism is still controversial. The aim of this research was to study the formation of intracanal fracture fragments in thoracolumbar burst fractures and to provide information for the prevention of thoracolumbar bursts fractures and reduction of damage to the nervous system.

METHODS:

A nonlinear three-dimensional finite element model of T11-3 segments was established, and the injury processes of thoracolumbar bursts were simulated. The intact finite element model and the finite element model after the superior articular were impacted by 100 J of energy in different directions. The distribution and variation of stress in the superior posterior region of the L1 vertebral body were analyzed. Abaqus 6.9 explicit dynamic solver was used as finite element software in calculations.

RESULTS:

A three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model of the thoracolumbar spine was created. In the intact model, stress was concentrated in the superior posterior region of the L1 vertebral body. The stress peak was a maximum for the extension impact load and a minimum for the flexion impact load. The stress peak and contact force in the facet joint had close correlation with time. The stress peak disappeared after excision of the superior articular process.

CONCLUSIONS:

The three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model was suitable for dynamic analysis. The contact force in the facet joint, which can be transferred to the superior posterior vertebral body, may explain the spinal canal fragment in thoracolumbar burst fractures.

PMID:
23924455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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