Effects of axial compression and rotation angle on torsional mechanical properties of bovine caudal discs

Semih E. Bezci, Eric Otto Klineberg, Grace D. O'Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The intervertebral disc is a complex joint that acts to support and transfer large multidirectional loads, including combinations of compression, tension, bending, and torsion. Direct comparison of disc torsion mechanics across studies has been difficult, due to differences in loading protocols. In particular, the lack of information on the combined effect of multiple parameters, including axial compressive preload and rotation angle, makes it difficult to discern whether disc torsion mechanics are sensitive to the variables used in the test protocol. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate compression-torsion mechanical behavior of healthy discs under a wide range of rotation angles. Bovine caudal discs were tested under a range of compressive preloads (150, 300, 600, and 900 N) and rotation angles (± 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5°) applied at a rate of 0.5°/s. Torque-rotation data were used to characterize shape changes in the hysteresis loop and to calculate disc torsion mechanics. Torsional mechanical properties were described using multivariate regression models. The rate of change in torsional mechanical properties with compression depended on the maximum rotation angle applied, indicating a strong interaction between compressive stress and maximum rotation angle. The regression models reported here can be used to predict disc torsion mechanics under axial compression for a given disc geometry, compressive preload, and rotation angle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Axial rotation
  • Biomechanics
  • Compression
  • Disc geometry
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Structure-function
  • Torsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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