Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

William C. Van Buskirk

Second Advisor

Robert F. Heary

Third Advisor

Richard A. Foulds

Fourth Advisor

Max Roman


Around 70% of the population in the United States experience low back pain at some point of their lives, of these 4% underwent surgical intervention on the lumbar spine to relieve the pain. Spinal arthrodesis, i.e. joint fusion, is beneficial in many cases as the final option for patients suffering from certain types of low back pain (LBP). In order to promote solid fusion across a decompressed spinal segment, interbody spacers/cages are used with and without posterior instrumentation to provide an initial "rigid" fixation of the segment.

In this study three fresh/frozen human cadaveric lumbar spines were used. Each lumbar spine was dissected into two Functional Spinal Units (FSUs, L3-L4 and L5-S1) making a total of 6 motion segments.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical behavior of a new stand-alone anterior lumbar interbody device, by assessing its performance in terms of FSU motion in comparison with the intact FSU and FSUs additional posterior fixation (i.e., facet bolts and pedicle screws).

Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if the differences between the different treatment groups are significant or not. Statistical analysis was also used to determine the contribution of the supplemental fixation for the anterior interbody fusion device (AFD) system.