There is growing acceptance of needle puncture injury to induce intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration in small animal models, and needle injection is the most likely pathway for delivery of growth factors and/or cell therapies to IVDs. Consequently, there is strong motivation for improved understanding of how needle injuries affect IVD mechanics. Loss of disc height and stiffness have been shown following needle puncture [1,2,3], yet the exact mechanisms by which a needle puncture alters disc mechanics are unclear. This study aims to develop an analytical model of the IVD which may be used to assess the relative contributions of various load carriage mechanisms to overall disc properties.

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