Compressive mechanical properties of the perinatal, neonatal and pediatric cervical spine

Conference Paper

Quantifying the biomechanical response of the pediatric cervical spine is a fundamental step in improving our understanding of the genesis of pediatric neck injuries and determining the influence of neck response on head trauma. Pediatric cervical spine biomechanics research has historically been limited due to the lack of pediatric cadaveric human donors. This investigation characterizes mechanical properties of the developing human cervical spine, providing structural response characterization from birth to maturity under compressive loading. A cohort of whole osteoligamentous cervical spines (WCS) and sub-components (UCS: OC2; LCS: C4-C5, C6-C7) from 20 weeks gestation to 18 years (n = 23) were tested in compression. Segments were compressed under load control at a rate designed to maintain a constant stress rate throughout the age (size) range of the cohort. The segments were compressed to 5% of the expected failure load. Compressive structural stiffness was calculated by regressing the force-displacement response from 50-100% of peak load. The WCS and UCS were more compliant than LCS for all ages and the stiffness for all segments increased with age. These data may further our understanding of compression related pediatric neck injury and the potential association of these injuries with head contact and a muscularly active neck in a dynamic loading environment.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Luck, JF; Nightingale, RW; Dale Bass, CR

Published Date

  • January 1, 2013

Published In

  • 2013 Ircobi Conference Proceedings International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury

Start / End Page

  • 655 - 662

Citation Source

  • Scopus