Dynamic vertebral artery elongation during frontal and side impacts

Erik J. Carlson, Yasuhiro Tominaga, Paul C. Ivancic and Manohar M. Panjabi

Elongation-induced vertebral artery (VA) injury has been hypothesized to occur during nonphysiological coupled head motions during automobile impacts. Although previous work has investigated VA elongation during head-turned and head-forward rear impacts, no studies have performed similar investigations for frontal or side impacts.  The purpose of this study was to quantify dynamic VA elongations during simulated frontal and side automotive collisions, and compared these data with corresponding physiological limits.  A biofidelic whole cervical spine model with muscle force replication and surrogate head underwent simulated frontal impacts or left side impacts. The authors conclude that elongation-induced VA injury is more likely to occur during side impact as compared with frontal impact.

The Spine Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, March-April 2007, Pages 222-228

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