High rotation rate behavior of cervical spine segments in flexion and extension

J Biomech Eng. 2014 Dec;136(12):121004. doi: 10.1115/1.4028107.


Numerical finite element (FE) models of the neck have been developed to simulate occupant response and predict injury during motor vehicle collisions. However, there is a paucity of data on the response of young cervical spine segments under dynamic loading in flexion and extension, which is essential for the development or validation of tissue-level FE models. This limitation was identified during the development and validation of the FE model used in this study. The purpose of this study was to measure the high rotation rate loading response of human cervical spine segments in flexion and extension, and to investigate a new tissue-level FE model of the cervical spine with the experimental data to address a limitation in available data. Four test samples at each segment level from C2-C3 to C7-T1 were dissected from eight donors and were tested to 10 deg of rotation at 1 and 500 deg/s in flexion and extension using a custom built test apparatus. There was strong evidence (p < 0.05) of increased stiffness at the higher rotation rate above 4 deg of rotation in flexion and at 8 deg and 10 deg of rotation in extension. Cross-correlation software, Cora, was used to evaluate the fit between the experimental data and model predictions. The average rating was 0.771, which is considered to demonstrate a good correlation to the experimental data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology*
  • Female
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotation*