Spinal Injury Biomechanics

  • Jorge A. C. Ambrosio
Conference paper
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 423)


Injuries of the cervical and thoracolumbar spine have the potential for longterm disabling consequence, including para- and quadriplegia, paralysis and paresis. Protection of the spinal cord is a critical area of safety performance. Mechanisms of spinal injury are described for frontal and lateral loading of the body, which involves bending, shear and tensile loads on the vertebrae. For the neck, the current injury criteria is the Nij, which combines the normalized neck tension and bending into a single criterion, and reflects the combination of loads typically acting on the cervical spine during occupant restraint. While the Hybrid III dummy neck is widely used for the evaluation of injury risks in frontal and lateral crashes, the dummy has a rigid thoracic spine and a flexible lumbar joint. The spine does not articulate like in the human. For low-speed rear crashes, the BioRID dummy has been developed to assess injury risks to the spine. In this case, the NIC injury criterion is used to reflect the differential motion at the top and bottom of the neck, and to assess the risk of whiplash injury.


Cervical Spine Whiplash Injury Thoracolumbar Spine Lateral Flexion Injury Criterion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge A. C. Ambrosio
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto Superior TécnicoPortugal

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