Researchers create a biomechanical model to predict osteoporotic deformities in the spine.

Purpose of the Study 
Understanding how various deformities and degenerative conditions affect the spine is essential to the process of correcting and treating structural spinal imbalances. In this study, researchers chose to focus on osteoporosis as a deformity-producing condition. 

How it Was Conducted
To learn more about how osteoporotic spinal deformity might present in the elderly spine, researchers took 20 human, lateral full-spine x-rays and digitized them. A series of calculations were then performed to compute the impact of body weight load, intervertebral disc and vertebral body forces, and deformation. The strength and stiffness of the vertebral bodies were reduced according to an osteopenic aging model and elastic modulus reduction algorithm stimulating aging. 

The insights gleaned by researchers show that altered postural and spinal alignment causes abnormal forces that are the cause of osteoporotic spinal deformity in elderly patients. The study revealed that anterior translation of the upper spinal column and increased thoracic kyphosis exacerbates vertebral deformities, which increases compressive loads in the thoracolumbar region of the spine. 

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