Axial Torsional Testing of Spinal Implants

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Axial Torsional Testing of Spinal Implants

The spine is a complex joint and so research on biomechanics and flexibility remains. Mechanical static and dynamic tests include multi-axial and complex simulation of spinal segments under different conditions. Mechanical tests of spinal devices and implants such as rods, pedicle screws, hooks, plates, cages, constructs, intervertebral fusion devices, nucleus replacements, and intervertebral disc prostheses normally follow ASTM or ISO standards, including axial compression, torsion, flexion-extension, lateral bending, lateral shear, and anterior-posterior shear. Both static and fatigue tests such as these can be performed on electrodynamic axial and axial torsional test machines. Combined biaxial tests are performed on all sorts of spinal functions and devices including fixation, constructs, segments and other components require combined axial and torsional tests. Tests apply static and dynamic forces while acquiring test data. Load bearing activities are simulated on subsections such as functional spine units or lumbar and cervical sections. In the end, spinal implants require extensive mechanical tests due to the consequences of potential catastrophic failure. Simple static testing is also required to evaluate the compressive, tensile and torsional loading required to fracture a spinal device. Fatigue life tests are critical because fatigue failure is more common than catastrophic failure. Loading test samples with load-controlled sinusoidal waveforms is most common, and tests last in excess of ten million cycles.

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