Modelling of a Cervical Plate and Human Cervical Section C3 – C5 under Compression Loading Conditions Using the Finite Element Method
This paper presents the modelling of the effects due to load conditions on the cervical section defined between C3 and C5 after a cervical plate implant is used to transfer the compression loads from C3 to C5 as C4 is considered to be damaged as a result of a medical condition. For this study, three different scenarios which describe the common motion condition of the head-neck system are modelled. The first one refers to the effect of the head weight over the considered section. In the second case the average patient weight is supported by C3 and C5 vertebrae. The last case simulates extreme loading conditions as vertebrae lesions occur when these are compressed beyond its failure limit; the ultimate stress to compression load failure value is applied to C3. The stability and mechanical behaviour of cervical plates under compression loading conditions is evaluated using the Finite Element Method (FEM). Cervical plates are useful to restore stability of the spine by improving the inter-vertebral fusion, particularly when the cervical body has been damaged. The results show that the stresses on the plate and fixation screws, for the three cases, are within the elastic range. Conversely, it has to be considered that cortical and trabecular bone densities vary from one patient to another due to a number of factors, which can influence the fixation conditions of the screws. In the case of this analysis, healthy bone conditions were considered and the obtained results show that the risk of the integrity of the screwimplant- vertebrae system is not compromised.
J.M. Dulieu-Barton, J.D. Lord and R.J. Greene
J. A. Beltrán-Fernández et al., "Modelling of a Cervical Plate and Human Cervical Section C3 – C5 under Compression Loading Conditions Using the Finite Element Method", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 13-14, pp. 49-56, 2008