Effects of Breast and Prostate Cancer Metastases on Lumbar Spine Biomechanics: Rapid In Silico Evaluation

  • J. LorkowskiEmail author
  • O. Grzegorowska
  • M. S. Kozień
  • I. Kotela
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1096)


Metastases to distant organs are a frequent occurrence in cancer diseases. The skeletal system, especially the spine, is one such organ. The objective of this study was to apply a numerical modeling, using a finite element method (FEM), for the evaluation of deformation and stress in lumbar spine in bone metastases to the spine. We investigated 20 patients (10 women and 10 men) aged 38–81 years. In women, osteolytic lesions in lumbar spine accompanied breast cancer, in men it was prostate cancer. Geometry of FEM models were built based on CT scans of metastatic lumbar spine. We made the models for osteolytic metastases, osteosclerotic metastases, and metastases after surgery. Images were compared. We found a considerable concentration of strain, especially located in the posterior part of the vertebral body. In osteolytic lesions, the strain was located below the vertebral body with metastases. In osteosclerotic lesions, the strain was located in the anterior and posterior parts in and below the vertebral body with metastases. Surgery abolished the pathological strain. We conclude that metastases to the lumbar spine introduce a pathological strain on the lumbar body. The immobilization of the vertebral body around fractures abolished the strain.


Cancer metastases Finite element method Lumbar spine Osteolytic lesions Osteosclerotic lesions Strain 


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lorkowski
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • O. Grzegorowska
    • 2
  • M. S. Kozień
    • 3
  • I. Kotela
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedics and TraumatologyCentral Clinical Hospital of Ministry of InteriorWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Health Rehabilitation CenterCracowPoland
  3. 3.Department of Material Systems Dynamics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Applied MechanicsCracow University of TechnologyCracowPoland

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