Whiplash and other traumatic neck injuries are a primary cause of chronic neck pain in the United States, with the cervical facet joint and its ligament being a common anatomical source of the pain. During these injuries, the facet capsular ligament undergoes excessive stretching that alters the subsequent mechanical function of the facet joint and can also initiate pain [1,2]. Accordingly, defining the mechanical response of the facet capsule requires understanding its microstructural response during loading. Although the macro-mechanical responses of ligaments for many types of loading and injury scenarios have been studied, the microstructural and fibrillar responses in the facet capsular ligament remain largely undefined.

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