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RESEARCH PAPERS

Analysis of Functional Scoliosis by Means of an Anisotropic Beam Model of the Human Spine

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Lindbeck

Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanics, S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

J Biomech Eng 107(3), 281-285 (Aug 01, 1985) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138554 History: Received February 29, 1984; Online June 15, 2009

Abstract

An upright, muscle-relaxed human spine, suffering from a mild functional scoliosis, caused by a small difference in leg length, is modeled as an anisotropic, elastic beam. The lower end of the beam is built-in in a fixed body, i.e., the laterally tilted pelvis. The upper end is rigidly attached to a rigid body, i.e., the supported upper part of the trunk, which is supposed to move freely in the frontal plane. It is shown that the characteristic scoliotic curvature of the spine, observed on an X-ray picture, can be reproduced by means of buckling analysis of the beam model, using realistic values of geometric and loading parameters and a properly chosen bending stiffness, which is found to be in reasonable agreement with earlier experimental findings. The analysis also shows that the muscle-relaxed upright equilibrium position of the spine is mechanically unstable.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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