Mechanical Behavior of a Calcium Phosphate Ceramic Bone Graft Used in the Rehabilitation of a C4 Human Vertebra
The main results of a static analysis with a finite element model of the cervical section between C3 – C5 of a human spine are reported. In this case, it is assumed that the element C4 is completely damaged and has to be replaced. Therefore, a bone graft was installed between the anterior side of C3 and C5. Besides, a cervical plate of 55 mm. was fixed at the same side with 4 expansive screws. The resultant stresses caused by compression loads were analyzed and the displacements between the graft and adjacent vertebrae were calculated. Three loading conditions were applied: 80 N, 637.5 N and 6374.5 N. The first one corresponds to the head weight. In the second case, it is assumed that the average patient weight is supported by those vertebrae, while in the last one; the compression load failure is applied on the vertebrae. Results show that displacements were lower than 3 mm between the graft and the adjacent vertebrae. In accordance with the concept of spine stability after Müller , the arrangement is a stable one. Another advantage is that no wires are used in this surgical technique. Two more issues should be noticed. There is no risk that the plate may be broken and the geometry of the bone graft allows bone regeneration. These results are on line with those observed in preliminary experimental tests with porcine vertebrae.
J. Quinta da Fonseca
J. A. Beltrán-Fernández et al., "Mechanical Behavior of a Calcium Phosphate Ceramic Bone Graft Used in the Rehabilitation of a C4 Human Vertebra", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 7-8, pp. 101-106, 2007