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Predicting Neck Injuries Due to Head-Supported Mass

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Manoogian SJ, Kennedy EA, Wilson KA, Duma SM, Alem NM. Predicting neck injuries due to head-supported mass. Aviat Space Environ Med 2006; 77:509–514.

Background: Technological advances in military equipment have resulted in more devices being mounted on the helmet to enhance the capability of the soldier. The soldier’s neck must bear this head-supported mass (HSM) and the resulting dynamic characteristics of the head and neck system are changed. The purpose of this study was to vary the conditions of impact as well as the design criteria to quantify the effect of HSM on neck injury risk through computational modeling. Methods: The TNO MADYMO detailed neck model was used for a matrix of 196 simulations designed to vary the impact conditions and HSM properties added to the model. These parameters included seven impact directions, three impact magnitudes, nine mass locations, and three mass magnitudes. The data collected from these simulations were evaluated for injury risk using the lower neck beam criterion equation. Results: The results from these simulations provide detailed information regarding the risk of injury based on a particular HSM configuration and the acceleration of the body. The predominant factor in increasing risk in the lower neck is the increase in pulse magnitude. The effect of pulse magnitude is more dominant in the directions that create a flexion or lateral bending moment. Conclusion: HSM increases the level of injury, but the impact level that the subject is exposed to is a more dominating factor in determining injury risk.
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Keywords: head-supported mass; injury; modeling; neck

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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