Influence of varying compressive loading methods on physiologic motion patterns in the cervical spine.


The human cervical spine supports substantial compressive load in-vivo arising from muscle forces and the weight of the head. However, the traditional in-vitro testing methods rarely include compressive loads, especially in investigations of multi-segment cervical spine constructs. Various methods of modeling physiologic loading have been reported in the literature including axial forces produced with inclined loading plates, eccentric axial force application, follower load, as well as attempts to individually apply/model muscle forces in-vitro. The importance of proper compressive loading to recreate the segmental motion patterns exhibited in-vivo has been highlighted in previous studies. However, appropriate methods of representing the weight of head and muscle loading are currently unknown. Therefore, a systematic comparison of standard pure moment with no compressive loading versus published and novel compressive loading techniques (follower load - FL, axial load - AL, and combined load - CL) was performed. The present study is unique in that a direct comparison to continuous cervical kinematics over the entire extension to flexion motion path was possible through an ongoing intra-institutional collaboration. The pure moment testing protocol without compression or with the application of follower load was not able to replicate the typical in-vivo segmental motion patterns throughout the entire motion path. Axial load or a combination of axial and follower load was necessary to mimic the in-vivo segmental contributions at the extremes of the extension-flexion motion path. It is hypothesized that dynamically altering the compressive loading throughout the motion path is necessary to mimic the segmental contribution patterns exhibited in-vivo.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.11.045

Cite this paper

@article{Bell2016InfluenceOV, title={Influence of varying compressive loading methods on physiologic motion patterns in the cervical spine.}, author={Kevin M. Bell and Yiguo Yan and Richard E. Debski and Gwendolyn A. Sowa and James Kang and Scott Tashman}, journal={Journal of biomechanics}, year={2016}, volume={49 2}, pages={167-72} }