degrees of freedom

Six degrees of freedom simulator for spine

The spine is dynamic and each functional spinal unit has six degrees of freedom.

That is, it moves (or at least it should move) in six different directions also known as, 6 degrees of freedom.

  1. flexion
  2. extension
  3. axial rotation
  4. laterolateral shear
  5. anteroposterior shear
  6. axial compression/decompression

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In a recent paper in The European Spine Journal, a group of researchers led by Wilke, developed a testing simulator to help in the revealing of mechanisms related to disc injury. Their goal was to provide a simulator to help in the the visualization of intradiscal and para-discal injuries to the annulus and endplate to get a closer look into the damage mechanisms associated with disc herniation, for example.

Disc herniations are not well understood. So, to have a testing apparatus to artificially look at the mechanism involved as the nucleus pushes radially into the annulus and superiorly/inferiorly into the endplate, is a big step forward in research.

At Dynamic Disc Designs, we are always excited to see the research moving in a direction that supports what we do. Understanding disc dynamics and the mechanisms associated with injuries and related biomechanical treatments to improve patient outcomes is our goal. Education of spinal motion and load will prove to be helpful in patient care.