Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-3633
2006-12-05

Biomechanical Investigation of Thoracolumbar Spine Fractures in Indianapolis-type Racing Car Drivers during Frontal Impacts 2006-01-3633

The purpose of this study is to provide an understanding of driver kinematics, injury mechanisms and spinal loads causing thoracolumbar spinal fractures in Indianapolis-type racing car drivers. Crash reports from 1996 to 2006, showed a total of forty spine fracture incidents with the thoracolumbar region being the most frequently injured (n=15). Seven of the thoracolumbar fracture cases occurred in the frontal direction and were a higher injury severity as compared to rear impact cases. The present study focuses on thoracolumbar spine fractures in Indianapolis-type racing car drivers during frontal impacts and was performed using driver medical records, crash reports, video, still photographic images, chassis accelerations from on-board data recorders and the analysis tool MADYMO to simulate crashes. A 50th percentile, male, Hybrid III dummy model was used to represent the driver. Simulation output of thoracolumbar spine forces ranged from 683 to 4547 N in the x-direction, 475 to 6623 N in the y-direction, and 4825 to 13,211 N in the z-direction. Thoracolumbar moment output ranged from 113 to 1281 Nm in the x-direction, 146 to 622 N in the y-direction, and 75 to 295 N in the z-direction. Simulation output is consistent with previously published literature and can be utilized to improve future modeling work.

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