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The biomechanics of the pediatric and adult human thoracic spine

F.J. López-Valdés, S. Lau, P.O. Riley, J. Lamp, R. W. Kent

A growing body of literature points out the relevance of the thoracic spine dynamics in understanding the thorax-restraint interaction as well as in determining the kinematics of the head and cervical spine. This study characterizes the dynamic response in bending of eight human spinal specimens (4 pediatric: ages 7 and 15 years, 4 adult: ages 48 and 52 years) from two sections along the thoracic spine (T2-T4 and T7-T9). Each specimen consisted of three vertebral bodies connected by the corresponding intervertebral discs. All ligaments were preserved in the preparation with the exception of the inter-transverse ligament. Specimens were exposed to a series of five dynamic bending ramp-and-hold tests with varying amplitudes at a nominal rate of 2 rad/s. After this battery of tests, failure experiments were conducted. The 7-year-old specimen showed the lowest tolerance to a moment (T2-T4: 12.1 Nm; T7-T9: 11.6 Nm) with no significant reduction of the relative rotation between the vertebrae. The 15-year-old failure tolerance was comparable to that of the adult specimens. Failure of the adult specimens occurred within a wide range at the T2-T4 thoracic section (23.3 Nm- 53.0 Nm) while it was circumscribed to the interval 48.3 Nm-52.5 Nm for the T7-T9 section. The series of dynamic ramp-and-hold were used to assess two different scaling methods (mass scaling and SAE scaling). Neither method was able to capture the stiffness, peak moment and relaxation characteristics exhibited by the pediatric specimens.

Keywords: Not available

55th AAAM Annual Scientific Conference, Paris (France). 03 October 2011

Publication date: October 2011.

F.J. López-Valdés, S. Lau, P.O. Riley, J. Lamp, R. W. Kent, The biomechanics of the pediatric and adult human thoracic spine, 55th AAAM Annual Scientific Conference - AAAM 2011, París, France, 03-05 October 2011. , pp. 193-206

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