Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers capture breakthrough data on cervical spine injuries

27.07.2011
A high school football player’s broken neck – from which he’s recovered – has yielded breakthrough biomechanical data on cervical spine injuries that could ultimately affect safety and equipment standards for athletes. University of New Hampshire associate professor of kinesiology Erik Swartz collaborated on the study, which appears in a letter in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Swartz and lead author Steven Broglio of the University of Michigan captured this groundbreaking spinal fracture data while studying concussions. Broglio had fitted the helmets of football players at a high school in the Midwest with padded sensors as part of the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS), which measures the location and magnitude of impacts to the helmet. During a head-down tackle, an 18-year-old cornerback in the study suffered both a concussion and a fracture of his cervical spine, or neck. (He has since fully recovered.)

“This is really novel,” says Swartz, explaining that all previous research on cervical spine injuries have been done on cadavers, animals, or via mathematical modeling. “You can’t create a cervical spine fracture in a healthy human, but here you have an actual event where we captured data during an actual cervical spine injury,” he says.

Swartz notes that this research will bring real-world information to the study of axial load impact to the head and its effects on the spine. “We now have data that we know caused a serious spine injury in a healthy, 18-year-old strong-bodied athlete,” he says.

Swartz, who teaches athletic training, was tapped by Broglio for his expertise in cervical spine injuries in athletes. Swartz helped analyze the acceleration data from the in-helmet sensors in collaboration with sideline video footage of the tackle to describe the effects of the impact to the player.

The authors see far-reaching implications for this work in the quest for greater safety in youth sports. In the journal letter, they note that sports and recreation activities are the second most common cause of cervical spine injuries for people under age 30, with an average lifetime cost of more than $3 million.

While concussions are far more common than broken necks among high school or college athletes, Broglio notes that media attention has been focused on professional sports. “To us, the larger public health issue is with the 1.5 million high school kids that play football each year. Not the 1,500 that play in the NFL,” he says.

Swartz adds that this work will inform ongoing discussions about the safety and long-term effects of head-down tackles. “It sends a huge message to the athletic community about head-down impact,” he says.

The research, “In Vivo Biomechanical Measurements of a Football Player's C6 Spine Fracture,” along with the sideline video of the tackle, is available to download from the July 21, 2011 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1102689?query=featured_home. In addition to Swartz and Broglio, co-authors are Joseph Crisco of Brown University and Robert Cantu, M.D., of Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass.

The department of kinesiology is in the College of Health and Human Services. The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

Beth Potier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unh.edu

Further reports about: Medicine broken neck cervical spine injuries spinal fracture

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>