A Three-Dimensional Model of the Human Cervical Spine for Impact Simulation

[+] Author and Article Information
J. L. Williams

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass. 02115

T. B. Belytschko

Department of Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. 60201

J Biomech Eng 105(4), 321-331 (Nov 01, 1983) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138428 History: Received July 12, 1982; Revised May 20, 1983; Online June 15, 2009


A three-dimensional analytical model of the cervical spine is described. The cervical vertebrae and the head are modeled as rigid bodies which are interconnected by deformable elements representing the intervertebral disks, facet joints, ligaments and muscles. A special pentahedral continuum element for representing the articular facets is described which effectively maintains stability of the cervical spine in both lateral and frontal plane accelerations, which is very difficult with multispring models of the facets. A simplified representation is used for the spine and body below the level of T1. The neck musculature is modeled by over 100 muscle elements representing 22 major muscle groups in the neck. The model has been validated for frontal and sideways impact accelerations by simulating published experimental data. Results are also presented to show the effects of the stretch reflex response on the dynamics of the head and neck under moderate acceleration.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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