Preventive measures and treatment modalities for correcting spinal disorders benefit significantly from advancements aimed at understanding the biomechanics of the human spine in the normal as well as altered states [1]. Finite element (FE) modeling is a useful tool to understand the behavior of the cervical spine under such conditions. In order for an FE model to yield clinically relevant results, the geometry must be as realistic as possible [2], in addition to incorporating accurate material properties and boundary conditions. The spine’s anatomy is very complex, rendering it difficult to acquire accurate geometrical representations for FE analysis. Many meshes in the literature are based on simplified or idealized geometries, or are assumed to be symmetric about the sagittal plane [3]. Traditional meshing techniques are time consuming and tedious, and lack remeshing capabilities [2]. The ability to create hexahedral cervical spine FE models on a patient-specific basis is a desirable task because it can account for variations in anatomy, as well as provide insight for surgical planning/treatment. Our mesh development methods improve on existing multi-block meshing methods to make this possible. We have created a C45 functional spinal unit (FSU) using these techniques, and to date have validated it by comparison to data presented in the literature.

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