Date of Award

Summer 2006

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

First Advisor

Wang, Mei

Second Advisor

Toth, Jeffrey M.

Third Advisor

Harris, Gerald F.


The purpose of this study was to biomechanically and radiographically evaluate the ovine animal model at levels L3-L4 and L4-L5, with the intent of providing insight into load sharing characteristics and disc morphology with comparison to the human lumbar spine. In the few previous studies that compared animal models to the human cadaveric model, the biomechanical parameters studied, such as range of motion, neutral zone, and stiffness, are those of the entire intervertebral joint complex. Distribution of the spinal load between the anterior and posterior structures in the animal model and how it compares to the human cadaveric model has not been investigated. In this study, load sharing characteristics will be investigated through the use of pure moment flexibility testing and implanting pressure transducers at two frequently used disc levels, L3-L4 and L4-L5 of the ovine spine. In addition, disc heights and sagittal alignment will be quantified. All tasks were performed for the purpose of further contributing to the quantifiable information available for the sheep as an animal model for the human lumbar spine.



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