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Development of a computer simulation tool for\ud application in adolescent spinal deformity surgery

By J. Paige Little and Clayton J. Adam


Scoliosis is a three-dimensional spinal deformity which requires surgical correction in progressive cases. In order to optimize correction and avoid complications following scoliosis surgery, patient-specific finite element models (FEM) are being developed and validated by our group. In this paper, the modeling methodology is described and two clinically relevant load cases are simulated for a single patient. Firstly, a pre-operative patient flexibility assessment, the fulcrum bending radiograph, is simulated to assess the model's ability to represent spine flexibility. Secondly, intra-operative forces during single rod anterior correction are simulated. Clinically, the patient had an initial Cobb angle of 44 degrees, which reduced to 26 degrees during fulcrum bending. Surgically, the coronal deformity corrected to 14 degrees. The simulated initial Cobb angle was 40 degrees, which reduced to 23 degrees following the fulcrum bending load case. The simulated surgical procedure\ud corrected the coronal deformity to 14 degrees. The computed results for the patient-specific FEM are within the accepted clinical Cobb measuring error of 5 degrees, suggested that this modeling methodology is capable of capturing the biomechanical behaviour of a scoliotic human spine during anterior corrective surgery

Topics: 090302 Biomechanical Engineering, anterior scoliosis surgery, spinal deformity, patient-specific finite element model, surgery simulation, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1007/978-3-642-11615-5_10
OAI identifier:

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