This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Spinal Burst or Compression Fractures within Automotive Crashes Due to Vertical Force Components
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published February 24, 1997 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
The purpose of this research was to present and analyze a previously unreported mechanism of injury within the automotive crash environment - spinal burst or compression fractures due to a vertical force component. Spinal burst fractures are comminuted fractures of the vertebral body which are often associated with retropulsed bone fragments into the spinal. Compression fractures are less traumatic fractures of the vertebral body with minimal comminution. Both fracture types can have varying degrees of neurologic deficit. The mechanism of injury is hypothesized to be a high energy compressive load along the axis of the spine initiated through the buttocks and pelvis or through torso augmentation (inertial loading of the lumbar spine by the torso).
Four crashes are presented as evidence of this injury mechanism within the automotive crash environment: two in the United States and two in Germany. All crashes involved a vertical force component to the wheels of the vehicle and subsequently to the occupants. Injuries included burst or compression fractures of the lumbar spine (3 cases) and the thoracic spine (1 case) with varying degrees of neurologic deficit. Injured occupants were males and females of various age (mean 30.5 ± 8 years), size, and physical condition. The range of axial loads experienced by the occupants in two of the cases was estimated between 10 and 20 Gs.
CitationMolz, F., Bidez, M., Zeidler, F., and Breitner, R., "Spinal Burst or Compression Fractures within Automotive Crashes Due toVertical Force Components," SAE Technical Paper 970498, 1997, https://doi.org/10.4271/970498.
- Chavda, D. V. Brantigan, J. W. Burst fracture of the twelfth thoracic vertebra in a middle aged man with osteoporosis Nebraska Medical Journal 195 199 1994
- Mick, C. A. Carl, A. Sachs, B. Hresko, M. T. Pfeifer, B. A. Burst fractures of the fifth lumbar vertebra Spine 18 13 1878 1884 1993
- Haasbeek, J. F. Hedden, D. M. Unusual burst fracture in an adolescent involving the apophyseal plate Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 14 4 543 546 1994
- Kazarian, L. E. F/FB-11 Escape injury mechanism assessment Aerospace Medical Division 1977
- Victoria, M. Voge Borowsky, M. S. Chapter 20 in Impact Injury to the Head And Spine Ewing, C. L. Thomas, D. J. Sances, A. Larson, S. J. Thomas Charles C. Springfield, Illinois 1983
- McCarthy, G. W. USAF take-off and landing ejections 1973-85 Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 59 359 362 1988
- Hirsch, C. Nachemson, A. Clinical observations on the spine in ejected pilots Aerospace Medicine July 629 632 1963
- Roberts, V. L. Noyes, F. R. Hubbard, R. P. McCabe, J. Biomechanics of snowmobile spine injuries The Journal of Biomechanics 4 569 577 1971
- Bell, G. H. Dunbar, O. Beck, J. S. Gibb, A. Variation in strength of vertebrae with age and their relation to osteoporosis Calcif. Tissue Res. 1 75 1967
- Perry, O. Resistance and compression of the lumbar vertebrae In Encyclopedia of Medical Radiology New York Springer-Verlag 1974
- Messerer, O. Stutgart, J.G. 1880
- Kazarian, L. E. Von Gierke, H. E. The validation of biodynamic models Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory 1978
- King, A. K. Prasad, P. Ewing, C. L. Mechanism of spinal injury due to caudocephalad acceleration Orthopedic Clinics of North America 6 1 19 31 1975
- Ewing, C. L. King, A. I. Prasad, P. Structural consideration of the human vertebral column under +Gz impact acceleration Journal of Aircraft 9 1 84 90 1972
- Hodgson, V. R. Lissner, H. R. Patrick, L. M. Response of the seated human cadaver to acceleration and jerk with and without seat cushions Journal of Human Factors October 505 523 1963
- Cantor, A. E. Muzzy, W. H. Eisentraut, D. K. D'Aulerio, L. A. Whitman, G. R. Assessment and control of dynamic overshoot with automotive seating during vertical impacts SAE 951084 1995
- Cantor, A. E. 1994
- Syson, S. 1995