The mid to lower cervical spine is a common site for compression related injury. In the present study, we determined the patterns of localized strain distribution in the anterior aspect of the vertebral body and in the lateral masses of lower cervical three-segment units. Miniature strain gages were mounted to human cadaveric vertebrae. Each preparation was line-loaded using a knife-edge oriented in the coronal plane that was moved incrementally from anterior to posterior to induce compression-flexion or compression-extension loading. Uniform compressive loading and failure runs were also conducted. Failure tests indicated strain shifting to “restabilize” the preparation after failure of a component. Under these various compressive loading vectors, the location which resulted in the least amount of deformation for a given force application (i.e., stiffest axis) was quantified to be in the region between 0.5–1.0 cm anterior to the posterior longitudinal ligament. The location in which line-loading produced no rotation (i.e., balance point) was in this region; it was also close to where the vertebral body strains change from compressive to tensile. Strain values from line loading in this region produced similar strains as recorded under uniform compressive loading, and this was also the region of minimum strain. The region of minimum strain was also more pronounced under higher magnitudes of loading, suggesting that as the maximum load carrying capacity is reached the stiffest axis becomes more well defined.

1.
Buttermann
G. R.
,
Kahmann
R. D.
,
Lewis
J. L.
, and
Bradford
D. S.
,
1991
, “
An experimental method for measuring force on the spinal facet joint: Description and application of the method
,”
ASME JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING
, Vol.
113
, pp.
375
386
.
2.
Goel
V. K.
,
Winterbottom
J. M.
,
Weinstein
J. N.
, and
Kim
Y. E.
,
1987
, “
Load Sharing Among Spinal Elements of a Motion Segment in Extension and Lateral Bending
,”
ASME JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING
, Vol.
109
, pp.
291
297
.
3.
Hakim, N. S., King, A. I., 1976, “Static and Dynamic Articular Facet Loads,” Proc 20th Stapp. Car Crash Conf., Society of Automotive Engineers Paper No. 760819, Warrendale, PA, pp. 607–639.
4.
Hodgson, V. R., and Thomas, L. M., 1980, “Mechanisms of Cervical Spine Injury During Impact to the Protected Head,” Proc 24th Stapp. Car Crash Conf., Society of Automotive Engineers Paper No. 801300, Warrendale, PA, pp. 607–639.
5.
Hedman
T. P.
,
1992
, “
A New Transducer for Facet Force Measurement in the Lumbar Spine; Benchmark and In Vitro Test Results
,”
ASME JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING
, Vol.
25
(
1
), pp.
69
80
.
6.
Keller
T. S.
, and
Spengler
D. M.
,
1989
, “
Regulation of bone stress and strain in the immature and mature rat femur
,”
ASME JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING
, Vol.
22
(
11/12
), pp.
1115
1127
.
7.
Kazarian
L.
,
1982
, “
Injuries to the Human Spinal Column: Biomechanics and Injury Classification
,”
Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews
, Vol.
9
, pp.
297
352
.
8.
Lanyon
L. E.
,
Hampson
W. G. J.
,
Goodship
A. E.
, and
Shah
J. S.
,
1975
, “
Bone deformation recorded in vivo from strain gages attached to the human tibial shaft
,”
Acta Orthop Scand.
, Vol.
46
, pp.
256
268
.
9.
Liu
Y. K.
, and
Dai
Q. G.
,
1989
, “
The second stiffest axis of a beam-column: Implications for cervical spine trauma
,”
ASME JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING
, Vol.
111
, pp.
122
127
.
10.
Maiman
D. J.
,
Sances
A.
,
Myklebust
J. B.
,
Larson
S. J.
,
Houterman
C.
,
Chilbert
M.
, and
El-Ghatit
A. Z.
,
1983
, “
Compression injuries of the cervical spine: A biomechanical analysis
,”
Neurosurgery
, Vol.
13
(
3
), pp.
254
260
.
11.
Nusholtz, G. S., Melvin, J. W., Huelke, D. F., Alem, N. M., and Blank, J. G., 1981, “Response of the Cervical Spine to Superior-Inferior Head Impact,” Proceedings of the 25th Stapp. Car Crash Conference, S.A.E. paper no. 811005, pp. 197–237.
12.
Pal
G. P.
, and
Sherk
H. H.
,
1988
, “
The Vertical Stability of the Cervical Spine
,”
Spine
, Vol.
13
(
5
), pp.
447
449
.
13.
Penning
L.
,
1988
, “
Differences in Anatomy, Motion, Development and Aging of the Upper and Lower Cervical Disk Segments
,”
Clinical Biomechanics
, Vol.
3
, pp.
37
47
.
14.
Pintar, F. A., Sances, A. Jr., Yoganandan, N., Reinartz, J., Maiman, D., Suh, J. K., Unger, G., Cusick, J. F., and Larson, S. J., 1990, “Biodynamics of the total human cadaveric cervical spine,” Proc 34th Stapp. Car Crash Conf., Society of Automotive Engineers paper no. 902309, Warrendale, PA, pp. 55–72.
15.
Pintar, F. A., Yoganandan, N., Sances, A. Jr., Reinartz, J., Harris, G., and Larson, S., 1989, “Kinematic and anatomical analysis of the human cervical spinal column under axial loading,” Proc. 33rd Stapp. Car Crash Conf., Society of Automotive Engineers paper no. 892436, Warrendale, PA, pp. 191–214.
16.
Prasad, P., King, A. I., Ewing, C. L., 1974, “The Role of Articular Facets During +GZ Acceleration,” ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, June 1974, pp. 321–326.
17.
Roberts
V. L.
,
1966
, “
Strain-Gage Techniques in Biomechanics
,”
Experimental Mechanics
: Vol.
6
, pp.
19A–22A
19A–22A
.
18.
Rubin
C. T.
, and
Lanyon
L. E.
,
1984
, “
Dynamic Strain Similarity in Vertebrates; An Alternative to Allometric Limb Bone Scaling
,”
J. Theor. Biol
, Vol.
107
, pp.
321
327
.
19.
Sances
A.
,
Myklebust
J. B.
,
Maiman
D. J.
,
Larson
S. J.
,
Cusick
J. F.
,
Lepkowski
J.
, and
Jodat
R.
,
1984
, “
The Biomechanics of Spinal Injuries
,”
CRC Crit Rev Bioengineering
, Vol.
11
(
1
), pp.
1
76
.
20.
Schendel
M. J.
,
Wood
K. B.
,
Buttermann
G. R.
,
Lewis
J. L.
,
Ogilvie
J. W.
,
1993
, “
Experimental Measurement of Ligament Force, Facet Force, and Segment Motion in the Human Lumbar Spine
,”
J. Biomech.
, Vol.
26
(
4/5
), pp.
427
438
.
21.
Torg
J. S.
,
Truex
R. C.
,
Marshall
J.
,
Hodgson
V. R.
,
Quedenfeld
T. C.
,
Spealman
A. D.
, and
Nichols
C. E.
,
1977
, “
Spinal Injury at the Level of the Third and Fourth Cervical Vertebrae from Football
,”
J. Bone Joint Surg.
, (AM) Vol.
59A
(
8
), pp.
1015
1019
.
22.
Yang
K. H.
,
King
A. I.
,
1984
, “
Mechanism of Facet Load Transmission as a Hypothesis for Low-Back Pain
,”
Spine
, Vol.
9
(
6
), pp.
557
565
.
23.
Yoganandan
N.
,
Haffner
M.
,
Maiman
D.
,
Nichols
H.
,
Pintar
F.
,
Jentzen
J.
,
Weinshel
S.
,
Larson
S.
,
Sances
A.
,
1990
, “
Epidemiology and injury biomechanics of motor vehicle related trauma to the spine
,”
SAE Transactions
, Vol.
98
(
6
), pp.
1790
1807
.
24.
Yoganandan
N.
,
Pintar
F.
,
Sances
A.
, and
Maiman
D.
,
1991
, “
Strength and motion analysis of the human head-neck complex
,”
Journal of Spinal Disorders
, Vol.
4
(
1
), pp.
73
85
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.