Numerical investigation of the effect of bone tissue pathology on human spine stability

Olga Chabarova

Doctoral dissertation

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The present dissertation considers the influence of the human vertebral bone pathology on the loss of spinal stability. The main object of the research is a fragment of the human lumbar spine consisting of three vertebrae joint with the intervertebral discs. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the effect of the pathology of the vertebral bone tissue on the stability of an isolated vertebral and spinal fragment using the finite element method.

In order to achieve the aim of the thesis, three tasks were solved: to formulate a finite element model of the structural spinal stability; to determine the prognostic factors for vertebral fracture of the lumbar spine; to investigate the effect of lumbar bone tissue pathology on the loss of global spinal stability.

The dissertation consists of the introduction, four chapters, general conclusions, list of the used literature, author's publications on the topic of the dissertation, summary in English and 3 appendices.

The introductory chapter deals with the research problem, the relevance of the thesis, presents the subject of the research, formulates the purpose and tasks of the thesis, describes the research methodology, scientific novelty of the thesis, research findings practical value, the defended statements, and the chapter ends with the author’s publications and presentations at conferences and seminars. The first chapter is devoted to literature analysis.

The second chapter proposes the two – level geometrically nonlinear elastic FEA model to analyze the stability of the lumbar spine segment. The pathological changes affecting the stability are characterized in this chapter also.

In the third chapter, there is given an analysis of the stability of the L3 vertebra in the presence of bone tissue pathology. It is determined that the instability of the pathological vertebra is caused by the local buckling of the cortical bone that is caused by the thinning of the cortical bone and degradation of the bond between the cortical bone and the trabecular tissue.

In the fourth chapter, there is given an analysis of the stability of the human lumbar spine L2–L4. It was found that the additional shear deformations caused by the pathology of the bone tissue entail the loss of global stability of the lumbar spine segment. The chapter ends with conclusions about the factors of the pathology of the bone tissue that affect the prediction of the stability of both cortical bone and the lumbar spine segment.

There are 4 publications published on the topic of the dissertation: 3 in scientific journals included in the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science list, 1 in scientific journals with citation index. 7 speaker papers were presented at conferences and seminars in Lithuania and other countries.


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136 p.
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