Rotational acceleration is a brain injury resulting from a trauma situation in which the speed of the body is interrupted and unrestricted movement of the head occurs out of synchrony with the movement of the neck, torso, and/or lower limbs of the body. Linear acceleration injuries result from straight-line forces due to a sudden deceleration of the brain moving through space. In contrast, rotational acceleration injuries result from nonlinear forces that twist the brain within the skull.
Theoretical and simulation models of rotational acceleration injury have been published with increasing frequency. Although linear acceleration injury and rotational acceleration injury can often occur together, there are some important differences. Linear acceleration injury is often associated with focal brain injuries, whereas rotational acceleration injuries more commonly involve both focal and diffuse brain injury. Holburn (1943) was the...