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Biomechanical consequences of an isolated overload on the human vertebral body

Kopperdahl, DL and Pearlman, JL and Keaveny, TM (2000) Biomechanical consequences of an isolated overload on the human vertebral body. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 18 (5). 685 - 690. ISSN 0736-0266

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The biomechanical consequences of an isolated overload to the vertebral body may play a role in the etiology of vertebral fracture. In this context, we quantified residual strains and reductions in stiffness and ultimate load when vertebral bodies were loaded to various levels beyond the elastic regimen and related these properties to the externally applied strain and bone density. Twenty-three vertebral bodies (T11-L4, from 23 cadavers aged 20-90 years) were loaded once in compression to a randomized nominal strain level between 0.37 and 4.5%, unloaded, and then reloaded to 10% strain. Residual strains of up to 1.36% developed on unloading and depended on the applied strain (r2= 0.85) but not on density (p = 0.25). Percentage reductions in stiffness and ultimate load of up to 83.7 and 52.5%, respectively, depended on both applied strain (r2 = 0.90 and r2 = 0.32, respectively) and density (r2 = 0.23 and r2 = 0.22, respectively). Development of residual strains is indicative of permanent deformations, whereas percentage reductions in stiffness are direct measures of effective mechanical damage. These results therefore demonstrate that substantial mechanical damage - which is not visible from radiographs - can develop in the vertebral body after isolated overloads, as well as subtle but significant permanent deformations. This behavior is similar to that observed previously for cylindrical cores of trabecular bone. Taken together, these findings indicate that the damage behavior of the lumbar and lower thoracic vertebral body is dominated by the trabecular bone and may be an important factor in the etiology of vertebral fracture.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kopperdahl, DL
Pearlman, JLjpearlman@pitt.eduJLP460000-0003-0830-9136
Keaveny, TM
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 January 2000
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume: 18
Number: 5
Page Range: 685 - 690
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1002/jor.1100180502
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0736-0266
MeSH Headings: Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Bone Density; Cadaver; Compressive Strength--physiology; Humans; Lumbar Vertebrae--physiology; Lumbar Vertebrae--radiography; Middle Aged; Pliability; Random Allocation; Stress, Mechanical; Thoracic Vertebrae--physiology; Thoracic Vertebrae--radiography; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Weight-Bearing--physiology
PubMed ID: 11117287
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 20:46
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 11:55


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