The strength and stability of the lumbar spine are determined not only by the bone and muscles, but also by the visco-elastic structures and the interplay between the different components of the spine, such as ligaments, capsules, annulus fibrosis, and articular cartilage. In this paper we present a non-linear three-dimensional Finite Element model of the lumbar spine. Specifically, a three-dimensional FE model of the L4-5 one-motion segment/2 vertebrae was developed. The cortical shell and the cancellous bone of the vertebral body were modeled as 3D isoparametric eight-nodal elements. Finite element models of spinal injuries with fixation devices are also developed. The deformations across the different sections of the spine are observed under the application of axial compression, flexion/extension, and lateral bending. The developed FE models provided input to both the fixture design and experimental studies.

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