European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 1905–1910 | Cite as

Regarding loads after spinal fusion, every level should be seen separately: a musculoskeletal analysis

  • A. Benditz
  • S. Auer
  • J. F. Spörrer
  • S. Wolkerstorfer
  • J. Grifka
  • F. Suess
  • S. Dendorfer
Original Article



The number of spinal fusion surgeries is steadily increasing and biomechanical consequences are still in debate. The aim of this study is to provide biomechanical insights into the sagittal balance of the spine and to compare spinal load before and after spinal fusion.


The joint reaction forces of 52 patients were analyzed in proximo-distal and antero-posterior direction from the levels T12–L1 to L5–S1 using musculoskeletal simulations.


In 104 simulations, pre-surgical forces were equal to post-surgical. The levels L4–L5 and T12–L1, however, showed increased spinal forces compression forces with higher sagittal displacement. Improved restauration of sagittal balance was accompanied by lower spinal load. AP shear stress, interestingly decreased with sagittal imbalance.


Imbalanced spines have a risk of increased compression forces at Th12–L1. L4–L5 always has increased spinal loads.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.


Sagittal balance Spinal fusion AnyBody Modeling System Spine biomechanics Musculoskeletal analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

586_2018_5476_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (2.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 2302 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsUniversity Medical Centre Regensburg, Asklepios Klinikum Bad AbbachBad AbbachGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory for BiomechanicsRegensburg Center of Biomedical EngineeringRegensburgGermany

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