Effects of cervical arthrodesis and arthroplasty on neck response during a simulated frontal automobile collision

Spine J. 2014 Sep 1;14(9):2195-207. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


Background context: Whereas arthrodesis is the most common surgical intervention for the treatment of symptomatic cervical degenerative disc disease, arthroplasty has become increasingly more popular over the past decade. Although literature exists comparing the effects of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and cervical total disc replacement (CTDR) on neck kinematics and loading, the vast majority of these studies apply only quasi-static, noninjurious loading conditions to a segment of the cervical spine.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of arthrodesis and arthroplasty on biomechanical neck response during a simulated frontal automobile collision with air bag deployment.

Study design: This study used a full-body, 50th percentile seated male finite element (FE) model to evaluate neck response during a dynamic impact event. The cervical spine was modified to simulate either an arthrodesis or arthroplasty procedure at C5-C6.

Methods: Five simulations of a belted driver, subjected to a 13.3 m/s ΔV frontal impact with air bag deployment, were run in LS-DYNA with the Global Human Body Models Consortium full-body FE model. The first simulation used the original model, with no modifications to the neck, whereas the remaining four were modified to represent either interbody arthrodesis or arthroplasty of C5-C6. Cross-sectional forces and moments at the C5 and C6 cervical levels of the neck, along with interbody and facet forces between C5 and C6, were reported.

Results: Adjacent-level, cross-sectional neck loading was maintained in all simulations without exceeding any established injury thresholds. Interbody compression was greatest for the CTDRs, and interbody tension occurred only in the fused and nonmodified spines. Some interbody separation occurred between the superior and inferior components of the CTDRs during flexion-induced tension of the cervical spine, increasing the facet loads.

Conclusions: This study evaluated the effects of C5-C6 cervical arthrodesis and arthroplasty on neck response during a simulated frontal automobile impact. Although cervical arthrodesis and arthroplasty at C5-C6 did not appear to significantly alter the adjacent-level, cross-sectional neck responses during a simulated frontal automobile impact, key differences were noted in the interbody and facet loading.

Keywords: Arthrodesis; Arthroplasty; Finite element analysis; GHBMC; Prestige ST; ProDisc-c.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Air Bags
  • Arthroplasty
  • Automobiles
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diskectomy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manikins*
  • Neck
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion*
  • Total Disc Replacement*