Application of a biomechanical finite element spine model to the vicious cycle scoliosis growth theory: evaluation of improved FEA geometry and material assignment

  • Author / Creator
    Fok, Jonathan
  • Scoliosis is defined as the abnormal three dimensional curvature of the spine with 80% of all cases being idiopathic in nature. If left unchecked, this condition can cause cardio-pulmonary complications and occasionally death. Currently, the most common method of treatment of scoliosis is through mechanical bracing or in extreme cases, corrective surgery. Current treatments can be further improved with a greater understand of the growth patterns of scoliotic spines. The objective of this study is to develop a finite element spine model capable of responding to loading conditions in a similar fashion to previous finite biomechanics spine model and utilize the ‘vicious cycle’ scoliosis theory in an effort to model scoliosis growth. Using CT images of a healthy spine, a three dimensional finite element model of the L3-L4 vertebra is generated. Asymmetric loading due to compression and muscle forces can then be applied on the spine and the resultant stresses are then translated into equivalent thermal load. Using this thermal load, it is possible to cause the spine model to grow, thereby predicting the growth pattern of a spine due to asymmetric loading.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Jonathan Winfield Fok
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Adeeb, Samer (Civil Engineering)
    • Carey, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Adeeb, Samer (Civil Engineering)
    • Raso, Jim (Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital)
    • McDonald, Andre (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Kawchuk, Greg (Physical Therapy)
    • Toogood, Roger (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Carey, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)