In-vitro mechanical testing of spinal motion segments has the potential to provide insight into mechanisms of intervertebral disc degeneration as well as a means for evaluating treatments. We describe a novel tri-linear method for quantifying the non-linear load-displacement behavior which is robust across different spinal levels, and quantifies stiffness at low-loads, which has not been included by previous threshold based methods. Mechanical data from in-vitro compression/tension testing of rodent motion segments is used to compare our tri-linear method with a threshold based method, and demonstrates that our method is insensitive to spinal level as well as provides constitutive information for low-load behavior.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.