A musculoskeletal lumbar and thoracic model for calculation of joint kinetics in the spine


The objective of this study was to develop a musculoskeletal spine model that allows relative movements in the thoracic spine for calculation of intra-discal forces in the lumbar and thoracic spine. The thoracic part of the spine model was composed of vertebrae and ribs connected with mechanical joints similar to anatomical joints. Three different muscle groups around the thoracic spine were inserted, along with eight muscle groups around the lumbar spine in the original model from AnyBody. The model was tested using joint kinematics data obtained from two normal subjects during spine flexion and extension, axial rotation and lateral bending motions beginning from a standing posture. Intra-discal forces between spine segments were calculated in a musculoskeletal simulation. The force at the L4-L5 joint was chosen to validate the model’s prediction against the lumbar model in the original AnyBody model, which was previously validated against clinical data.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Seungbum Koo.

Additional information

Recommended by Associate Editor Yoon Hyuk Kim

Yongcheol Kim received the B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Chung-Ang University in 2012 and 2014, respectively. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Chung-Ang University under the supervision of Professor Seungbum Koo. His major research areas are human model design and musculoskeletal simulation based on multibody system dynamics.

Seungbum Koo received the B.S. and M.S. in 2000 and 2002 from Seoul National University, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 from Stanford University. He is currently an associate professor at Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. His research focuses on human musculoskeletal simulation and joint dynamics.

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Kim, Y., Ta, D., Jung, M. et al. A musculoskeletal lumbar and thoracic model for calculation of joint kinetics in the spine. J Mech Sci Technol 30, 2891–2897 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-016-0548-0

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  • Joint kinetics
  • Lumbar spine
  • Musculoskeletal model
  • Thoracic spine