3D Vertebral morphology, locomotion, and human spinal health

Kimberly A. Plomp, Una Strand Vidarsdottir, Darlene Weston, Mark Collard

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract


Recently, we investigated the relationship between locomotion, spinal pathology, and the 2D shape of the final thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae in humans, chimpanzees, and orang-utans. The spinal pathology we focused on was Schmorl’s nodes, which are depressions on the vertebral body resulting from vertical herniation of the intervertebral disc. We found that pathological human vertebrae share more similarities in shape to chimpanzee vertebrae than healthy humans do. This suggests that the occurrence of inter-vertebral disc herniation may be influenced by a particular vertebral shape that is more susceptible to the stress placed on the spine during bipedalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Event84th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists - St Louis, Macao
Duration: 25 Mar 201528 Mar 2015

Cite this

Plomp, K. A., Vidarsdottir, U. S., Weston, D., & Collard, M. (2015). 3D Vertebral morphology, locomotion, and human spinal health. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156, 254.