Contact Analysis of a Posterior Cervical Spine Plate Using a Three-Dimensional Canine Finite Element Model

[+] Author and Article Information
M. L. Villarraga, R. C. Anderson, R. T. Hart

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University School of Engineering, New Orleans, LA 70118

D. H. Dinh

Department of Neurosurgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112

J Biomech Eng 121(2), 206-214 (Apr 01, 1999) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835105 History: Received September 02, 1997; Revised September 01, 1998; Online January 23, 2008


The development of a three-dimensional finite element model of a posteriorly plated canine cervical spine (C3-C6) including contact nonlinearities is described. The model was created from axial CT scans and the material properties were derived from the literature. The model demonstrated sufficient accuracy from the results of a mesh convergence test. Significant steps were taken toward establishing model validation by comparison of plate surface strains with a posteriorly plated canine cervical spine under three-point bending. This model was developed to better characterize the contact pressures at the various interfaces under average physiologic canine loading. The analysis showed that the screw–plate interfaces had the highest values of all the mechanical parameters evaluated.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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