1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518057, China
3. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
4. Shenzhen Second People's Hospital, Shenzhen 518049, China
A protocol is developed for precise measurements of the geometric parameters of cervical discs as a basis for the design of artificial cervical discs for Chinese people and the selection of total disc replacement models. The six key parameters (i.e., the anterior height, the middle height, the posterior height, the intervertebral angle, the sagittal diameter and the transverse diameter) of all the five cervical intervertebral discs, C23, C34, C45, C56 and C67, are measured from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) database of normal Chinese discs. Chinese cervical disc geometric characteristics are then analyzed statistically. The height of a normal Chinese cervical disc tends to increase first and then decrease with age, with the maximum at 39-48 years old. All six parameters increase about linearly from the upper to the lower discs except for the intervertebral angle. The parameters for females are about 90% of those for males.
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