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 Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>