Testing of Human Cadaveric Functional Spinal Units to the ASTM Draft Standard, “Standard Test Methods for Static and Dynamic Characterization of Spinal Artificial Discs”

    Published: Jan 2003

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    The development of replacement intervertebral discs has recently received significant attention in the new product arena. Presently, ASTM International is considering a standard for the evaluation of artificial discs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate human functional spinal units (FSUs) and intervertebral discs using the methods and equipment in the proposed standard and then to compare the results with existing literature.

    FSUs and intervertebral discs were tested in axial rotation, anterior and posterior compressive shear, and axial compression. The stiffness values of the intervertebral discs were 1.8 ± 1.1 N. m/° in axial rotation, 368.2 ± 98.6 N/mm in anterior compressive shear, 483.5 ± 62.9 N/mm in posterior compressive shear, and 1287.5 ± 271.3 N/mm in axial compression. These results are reasonable in comparison with the existing literature but there are notable differences. We conclude that the mechanical properties of the intervertebral disc are not sufficiently defined and further testing is warranted.


    biomechanics, lumbar spine, intervertebral disc, mechanical properties

    Author Information:

    Spenciner, DB
    Test Facility Manager and Project Leader, RIH Orthopaedic Foundation, Inc., Providence, RI

    Paiva, JA
    Test Facility Manager and Project Leader, RIH Orthopaedic Foundation, Inc., Providence, RI

    Crisco, JJ
    Associate Professor, Brown Medical School /Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, RI

    Paper ID: STP11139S

    Committee/Subcommittee: F04.25

    DOI: 10.1520/STP11139S

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