Technical Briefs

Three-Dimensional Static Modeling of the Lumbar Spine

[+] Author and Article Information
Ernur Karadogan

 Mechanical Engineering Department, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979

Robert L. Williams1

 Mechanical Engineering Department, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701-2979


Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 134(8), 084504 (Aug 06, 2012) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007172 History: Received September 14, 2011; Revised July 11, 2012; Posted July 14, 2012; Published August 06, 2012; Online August 06, 2012

This paper presents three-dimensional static modeling of the human lumbar spine to be used in the formation of anatomically-correct movement patterns for a fully cable-actuated robotic lumbar spine which can mimic in vivo human lumbar spine movements to provide better hands-on training for medical students. The mathematical model incorporates five lumbar vertebrae between the first lumbar vertebra and the sacrum, with dimensions of an average adult human spine. The vertebrae are connected to each other by elastic elements, torsional springs and a spherical joint located at the inferoposterior corner in the mid-sagittal plane of the vertebral body. Elastic elements represent the ligaments that surround the facet joints and the torsional springs represent the collective effect of intervertebral disc which plays a major role in balancing torsional load during upper body motion and the remaining ligaments that support the spinal column. The elastic elements and torsional springs are considered to be nonlinear. The nonlinear stiffness constants for six motion types were solved using a multiobjective optimization technique. The quantitative comparison between the angles of rotations predicted by the proposed model and in the experimental data confirmed that the model yields angles of rotation close to the experimental data. The main contribution is that the new model can be used for all motions while the experimental data was only obtained at discrete measurement points.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Facet plane and angle

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Figure 2

3D Geometry of the lumbar spine [1]

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Figure 3

Free-body diagram of a vertebra

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Figure 4

Model versus experimental data (L3-L4 shown)

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Figure 5

Absolute error in model estimation of the experimental data (L3-L4 shown)



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