Finite element models (FEMs) provide a valuable tool to understanding disc mechanics with injury and degeneration. We have developed a finite element model that accurately simulates the mechanical behavior of the disc joint under axial rotation after axial compression. Using experimental data to validate our model parameters, we can now use the FEM to predict changes in mechanics following injury, such as a herniated disc. Compared to experiments, FEMs can also provide internal stress and strain distributions, which allows researchers to understand disc remodeling and injury (i.e., disc herniation).
Sagittal-plane cross-section view of a disc model, which consists Bone, Nucleus Pulposus (NP), Annulus Fibrosus (AF), Cartilage Endplate (CEP).
Circumferential stress for disc rotation in the clockwise (CW) and counter-clockwise (CCW) direction (under 0.48 MPa pre-compression).