Mechanical Properties of Human Lumbar Spine Motion Segments: Influences of Age, Sex, Disc Level, and Degeneration

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The influences of age, sex, disc level, and degree of degeneration on the mechanical behavior of 42 fresh cadaver lumbar motion segments are reported. The motions and intradiscal pressure changes that result from the application of flexion, extension, lateral bending, and torsional moments; compression; and anterior, posterior, and lateral shears are described. The authors find that the mean behaviors of the different segment classes sometimes differ, but these differences are seldom pronounced. Scatter in the behavior of individual motion segments is pronounced, and very often overshadows any class differences.

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