Intervertebral disc degeneration is believed to be the main cause of low back pain and has mostly been treated with lumbar interbody fusion or arthrodesis. Although fusion is a very common solution to low back pain it has been associated with disc degeneration and degenerative spondylolisthesis in the adjacent segment. A number of studies have been performed to study the effect of fusion, however there has not been any significant study to observe a fused spine with a degenerated disc at an adjacent level. This study involved a finite element model of the Lumbar spine L1-L5 which was fused with a bone graft at the L4-L5 level and degenerated in two stages at the L3-L4 level and also analyzed with reduced disc heights all in different cases.
A Finite Element Study of the Combined Effect of Fusion and Disc Degeneration on Adjacent Levels of the Lumbar Spine
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Hariharan, L, Amirouche, F, & Varadarajan, R. "A Finite Element Study of the Combined Effect of Fusion and Disc Degeneration on Adjacent Levels of the Lumbar Spine." Proceedings of the ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Advances in Bioengineering. Washington, DC, USA. November 15–21, 2003. pp. 383-384. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2003-43096
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