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Acute Thoracic Vertebral Injury Thresholds

[+] Author Affiliations
Mari S. Truman, Lisa A. Ferrara

Robson Lapina, Inc.

Ryan Milks, Illya Gordon, Jason Eckhardt

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Paper No. IMECE2004-62178, pp. 343-344; 2 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4703-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


This study measures select static and dynamic characteristics of the human mid-thoracic spine, and compares them to previously published data for the thoraco-lumbar and cervical regions. Little information is available on the acute injury threshold for mid-thoracic intervertebral discs. The aim of this study was to characterize injury thresholds for the thoracic spine. Non-destructive combined flexion-compression loading experiments were conducted on 5 fresh human T5-T10 functional spinal units (FSU) at quasi-static and physiologic strain rates, and the resulting load-deflection responses were converted into global and local stiffness. Subsequently, 29 thoracic vertebrae (T5-T10) from 6 spines were subjected to moderate to severe impact loading in flexion. The peak forces and pressures were not statistically different between the thoracic disc levels. However, the mean injury forces and pressures were statistically different from mean failure forces found in the literature for both the lumbar and cervical spine regions, with the thoracic values falling between the cervical and lumbar values.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
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