Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Nicole M. Grosland

Abstract

A majority of the American population will experience low-back pain during their lifetime. With this debilitating condition affecting more people every day, a solution is required to help the population. One of the causes of low-back pain is facet degeneration. Currently, there are no replacement devices on the market that solves this issue.

This thesis presents a design of a facet joint replacement to reduce low-back pain due to facet degeneration. A finite element model of the lumbar spine (L3-L5) was developed to evaluate the implant. Range of motion (ROM), facet contact forces and intervertebral disc stresses were compared for the instrumented and intact model. Futhermore, two additional surgical cases, a laminectomy and facetectomy, were also considered. It was found that the implant followed intact ROM and disc stresses better than a laminectomy and facetectomy. However, there was a large increase in facet contact forces at the adjacent non-operated level, which may ultimately lead to facet degeneration at the adjacent level. Further mechanical testing of the implant is required.

Pages

xi, 93 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 89-93).

Copyright

Copyright 2013 Amy Jo Criswell

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