Browse Publications Technical Papers 2021-22-0008

Quantifying the Effect of Pelvis Fracture on Lumbar Spine Compression during High-rate Vertical Loading 2021-22-0008

Fracture to the lumbo-pelvis region is prevalent in warfighters seated in military vehicles exposed to under-body blast (UBB). Previous high-rate vertical loading experimentation using whole body post-mortem human surrogates (PMHS) indicated that pelvis fracture tends to occur earlier in events and under higher magnitude seat input conditions compared to lumbar spine fracture. The current study hypothesizes that fracture of the pelvis under high-rate vertical loading reduces load transfer to the lumbar spine, thus reducing the potential for spine fracture. PMHS lumbo-pelvis components (L4-pelvis) were tested under high-rate vertical loading and force and acceleration metrics were measured both inferior-to and superior-to the specimen. The ratio of inferior-to-superior responses was significantly reduced by unstable pelvis fracture for all metrics and a trend of reduced ratio was observed with increased pelvis AIS severity. This study has established that pelvis fracture reduces compression forces at the lumbar spine during high-rate vertical loading, thus reducing the potential for fracture to the lumbar spine. Therefore, pelvis injury potential should be considered when implementing lumbar injury criteria specific to UBB.


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