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Mechanisms, Tolerances, and Responses Obtained Under Dynamic Superior-Inferior Head Impact.
Culver-RH; Bender-M; Melvin-JW
NIOSH 1978 May:104 pages
A study of spinal fractures produced by dynamic superior/inferior impacts to 11 cadavers is reported. The mechanism of cervical vertebrae fracturing appeared to be the compressive arching of the neck, placing loads on the spinous processes and connecting arches. Fracture production is not the best criterion for judging the severity of a neck or head injury, but provides a reasonable first step. For the test condition of this research, it was found that fractures of the cervical vertebrae of normal subjects began to occur for peak forces over 5.7 kilonewtons, peak impactor velocities over 7.5 meters per second, and initial impact pulse work values of 380 joules. Subjects with weak or abnormal structure can be expected to begin fracturing at approximately a peak force of 3.6 kilonewtons, a peak impactor velocity of 6.3 meters per second, and an initial impact pulse work value of 250 joules. Future research in this area should carefully define real world situation, control all confounding variables (particularly initial orientations), consider the role of ligaments and muscles, utilize a comprehensive head/neck injury scale, and investigate mechanisms using high speed cineradiography.
NIOSH-Publication; Physiology; Biostatistics; Injuries; Accidents; Head-protective-equipment; Skeletal-system-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders;
Low Back Disorders; Disease and Injury; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders;
NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia, Final Report
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division