For a prescribed set of resultant loads, there is uncertainty in vertebral strength due to the unknown nature of the boundary conditions imposed by the disc along the bony endplate. Patient-specific techniques for predicting vertebral strength do not include information regarding the disc-vertebral body interaction since the physical condition of the disc is difficult to diagnose using conventional radiographic techniques, such as CT or MRI. It is unknown whether this omission introduces a large source of error in strength predictions. Thus, quantifying the uncertainty associated with the nature of these boundary conditions is essential for the development of more accurate techniques for in vivo fracture risk prediction.

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