The Effect of Age and Gender on the Three-Dimensional Kinematics of the Pediatric Cervical Spine 2007-01-2495
Spine kinematics information can have important implications for biomechanical model development, anthropomorphic test device development, injury prevention, surgical treatment and safety equipment design. There is a paucity of data of this type available for children. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of age and gender on the three-dimensional kinematics of the pediatric cervical spine. Sixty subjects from the pediatric population were recruited and divided into groups based on gender and age (young group age 4-10 years and older group age 11-17 years). Subjects actively moved their head in axial rotation, lateral bending and flexion-extension. An optoelectronic motion analysis system recorded the position of infrared markers placed on the first thoracic vertebrae (T1) and on tight-fitting headgear worn by subjects. Helical axis of motion (HAM) parameters were calculated for the head with respect to T1. Young females had a more lateral HAM location in lateral bending and a more anterior HAM location in flexion-extension and axial rotation compared to the older children. The HAM orientation of young females in lateral bending was tilted to the right, whereas the older children were tilted to the left. The variation in spine mechanics of young females found in the present study may indicate general trends that would grow stronger in even younger children.