In this study, the finite element (FE) technique was used in conjunction with multi-body modelling to simulate and analyse the dynamic behaviour of the spinal segments in order to investigate the effects of impact loadings on the lumbar spine. A 3-D multi-body model of the lumbar spine and an FE model of the L2-L3 motion segment were developed. Both models were validated for flexion and compression loadings, showing good agreements with a previously validated lumbar spine model. The predictions of the multi-body model under dynamic impact loading conditions such as reaction forces at lumbar motion segments were employed as force boundary conditions for the finite element model of the selected functional spine unit (FSU). Stress and pressure in the intervertebral disc element and the reaction force at a specific vertebral level were presented. This approach has the potential to more realistically simulate the dynamics of spinal segments and whole spine, and study the effects on spinal elements.

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