Sensitivity of muscle and intervertebral disc force computations to variations in muscle attachment sites

Riza Bayoglu*, Ogulcan Guldeniz, Nico Verdonschot, Bart Koopman, Jasper Homminga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


The current paper aims at assessing the sensitivity of muscle and intervertebral disc force computations against potential errors in modeling muscle attachment sites. We perturbed each attachment location in a complete and coherent musculoskeletal model of the human spine and quantified the changes in muscle and disc forces during standing upright, flexion, lateral bending, and axial rotation of the trunk. Although the majority of the muscles caused minor changes (less than 5%) in the disc forces, certain muscle groups, for example, quadratus lumborum, altered the shear and compressive forces as high as 353% and 17%, respectively. Furthermore, percent changes were higher in the shear forces than in the compressive forces. Our analyses identified certain muscles in the rib cage (intercostales interni and intercostales externi) and lumbar spine (quadratus lumborum and longissimus thoracis) as being more influential for computing muscle and disc forces. Furthermore, the disc forces at the L4/L5 joint were the most sensitive against muscle attachment sites, followed by T6/T7 and T12/L1 joints. Presented findings suggest that modeling muscle attachment sites based on solely anatomical illustrations might lead to erroneous evaluation of internal forces and promote using anatomical datasets where these locations were accurately measured. When developing a personalized model of the spine, certain care should also be paid especially for the muscles indicated in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1143
Number of pages9
JournalComputer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2019


  • Muscle force; musculoskeletal model; spine loads; sensitivity; muscle attachment


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity of muscle and intervertebral disc force computations to variations in muscle attachment sites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this