An experimentally validated finite element method for augmented vertebral bodies

Kinzl, Michael; Schwiedrzik, Jakob; Zysset, Philippe K.; Pahr, Dieter H. (2013). An experimentally validated finite element method for augmented vertebral bodies. Clinical biomechanics, 28(1), pp. 15-22. Elsevier 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2012.09.008

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Finite element models of augmented vertebral bodies require a realistic modelling of the cement infiltrated region. Most methods published so far used idealized cement shapes or oversimplified material models for the augmented region. In this study, an improved, anatomy-specific, homogenized finite element method was developed and validated to predict the apparent as well as the local mechanical behavior of augmented vertebral bodies.


Forty-nine human vertebral body sections were prepared by removing the cortical endplates and scanned with high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT before and after injection of a standard and a low-modulus bone cement. Forty-one specimens were tested in compression to measure stiffness, strength and contact pressure distributions between specimens and loading-plates. From the remaining eight, fourteen cylindrical specimens were extracted from the augmented region and tested in compression to obtain material properties. Anatomy-specific finite element models were generated from the CT data. The models featured element-specific, density-fabric-based material properties, damage accumulation, real cement distributions and experimentally determined material properties for the augmented region. Apparent stiffness and strength as well as contact pressure distributions at the loading plates were compared between simulations and experiments.


The finite element models were able to predict apparent stiffness (R2 > 0.86) and apparent strength (R2 > 0.92) very well. Also, the numerically obtained pressure distributions were in reasonable quantitative (R2 > 0.48) and qualitative agreement with the experiments.


The proposed finite element models have proven to be an accurate tool for studying the apparent as well as the local mechanical behavior of augmented vertebral bodies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Schwiedrzik, Johann Jakob, Zysset, Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Johann Jakob Schwiedrzik

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2014 08:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:30

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Finite element, Vertebral body, Vertebroplasty, Augmentation, Bone cement, PMMA


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