Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Effects of contusion load on cervical spinal cord: A finite element study

1 Key Laboratory of Spine and Spinal Cord Injury Repair and Regeneration, Ministry of Education, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 389 Xincun Road, Shanghai 200065, China
2 Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK.
3 Department of Structural Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
4 Department of Histology and Embryology, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, China

Special Issues: Microsurgical and Minimal Invasive Technologies for Musculoskeletal Tissue Repair

Injury of cervical spine is a common injury of locomotor system usually accompanied by spinal cord injury, however the injury mechanism of contusion load to the spinal cord is not clear. This study aims to investigate its injury mechanism associated with the contusion load, with different extents of spinal cord compression. A finite element model of cervical spinal cord was established and two scenarios of contusion injury loading conditions, i.e. back-to-front and front-to-back loads, were adopted. Four different compression displacements were applied to the middle section of the cervical spinal cord. The distributions of von Mises stress in middle transverse cross section were obtained from the finite element analysis. For the back-to-front loading scenario, the stress concentration was found in the area at and near the central canal and the damage may lead to the central canal syndrome from biomechanical point of view. With the front-to-back load, the maximum von Mises stress located in central canal area of gray matter when subject to 10% compression, whilst it appeared at the anterior horn when the compression increased. For the white matter, the maximum von Mises stress appeared in the area of the anterior funiculus. This leads to complicated symptoms given rise by damage to multiple locations in the cervical spinal cord. The illustrative results demonstrated the need of considering different loading scenarios in understanding the damage mechanisms of the cervical spinal cord, particularly when the loading conditions were given rise by different pathophysiological causes.
  Article Metrics


1. A. E. Nkusi, S. Muneza, D. Hakizimana, S. Nshuti, P. Munyemana, Missed or delayed cervical spine or spinal cord injuries treated at a tertiary referral hospital in rwanda, World Neurosurg., 87 (2016), 269-276.

2. R. M. Quencer, R. P. Bunge, M. Egnor, B. A. Green, W. Puckett, T. P. Naidich, et al., Acute traumatic central cord syndrome: MRI-pathological correlations, Neuroradiology, 34 (1992), 85-94.

3. A. Curt, P. H. Ellaway, Clinical neurophysiology in the prognosis and monitoring of traumatic spinal cord injury, in Handbook of clinical neurology, Elsevier, 109 (2012), 63-75.

4. R. Zhu, T. Zander, M. Dreischarf, G. N. Duda, A. Rohlmann, H. Schmidt, Considerations when loading spinal finite element model with predicted muscle forces from inverse static analyses, J. Biomech., 46 (2013), 1376-1378.

5. R. Zhu, A. Rohlmann, Discrepancies in anthropometric parameters between different models affect intervertebral rotations when loading finite element models with muscle forces from inverse static analyses, Biomed. Eng./Biomed. Tech., 59 (2014), 197-202.

6. J. Scifert, K. Totoribe, V. Goel, J. Huntzinger, Spinal cord mechanics during flexion and extension of the cervical spine: a finite element study, Pain Physician, 5 (2002), 394-400.

7. X. F. Li, L. Y. Dai, Acute central cord syndrome: injury mechanisms and stress features, Spine, 35 (2010), 955-964.

8. B. Khuyagbaatar, K. Kim, W. Man Park, et al., Biomechanical behaviors in three types of spinal cord injury mechanisms, J. Biomech. Eng., 138 (2016).

9. B. Khuyagbaatar, K. Kim, T. Purevsuren, S. H. Lee, Y. H. Kim, Biomechanical effects on cervical spinal cord and nerve root following laminoplasty for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament in the cervical spine: A comparison between open-door and double-door laminoplasty using finite element analysis, J. Biomech. Eng., 140 (2018), 071006.

10. N. Zareen, M. Shinozaki, D. Ryan, H. Alexander, A. Amer, D. Q. Truong, et al., Motor cortex and spinal cord neuromodulation promote corticospinal tract axonal outgrowth and motor recovery after cervical contusion spinal cord injury, Exp. Neurol., 297 (2017), 179-189.

11. C. Persson, J. Summers, R. M. Hall, The importance of fluid-structure interaction in spinal trauma models, J. Neurotrauma., 28 (2011), 113-125.

12. N. Nishida, Y. Kato, Y. Imajo, S. Kawano, T. Taguchi, Biomechanical study of the spinal cord in thoracic ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, J. Spinal Cord Med., 34 (2011), 518-522.

13. K. Polak-Krasna, S. Robak-Nawrocka, S. Szotek, M. Czyż, D. Gheek, C. Pezowicz, The denticulate ligament-tensile characterisation and finite element micro-scale model of the structure stabilising spinal cord, J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater., 91 (2019), 10-17.

14. C. Y. Greaves, M. S. Gadala, T. R. Oxland, A three-dimensional finite element model of the cervical spine with spinal cord: an investigation of three injury mechanisms, Ann. Biomed. Eng., 36 (2008), 396-405.

15. K. H. Stoverud, M. Alnaes, H. P. Langtangen, V. Haughton, K. A. Mardal, Poro-elastic modeling of Syringomyelia - a systematic study of the effects of pia mater, central canal, median fissure, white and gray matter on pressure wave propagation and fluid movement within the cervical spinal cord, Comput. Methods Biomech. Biomed. Engin., 19 (2016), 686-698.

16. Y. B. Yan, W. Qi, Z. X. Wu, T. X. Qiu, E. C. Teo, W. Lei, Finite element study of the mechanical response in spinal cord during the thoracolumbar burst fracture, PLoS One, 7 (2012), e41397.

17. R. W. Ogden, Large deformation isotropic elasticity-on the correlation of theory and experiment for incompressible rubberlike solids, Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, 326 (1972), 565-584.

18. H. Ozawa, T. Matsumoto, T. Ohashi, M. Sato, S. Kokubun, Mechanical properties and function of the spinal pia mater, J. Neurosurg. Spine, 1 (2004), 122-127.

19. M. Czyz, K. Scigala, W. Jarmundowicz, R. Bedzinski, The biomechanical analysis of the traumatic cervical spinal cord injury using finite element approach, Acta Bioeng. Biomech., 10 (2008), 43-54.

20. T. K. Hung, H. S. Lin, L. Bunegin, M. S. Albin, Mechanical and neurological response of cat spinal cord under static loading, Surg. Neurol., 17 (1982), 213-217.

21. Z. Cai, Z. Li, L. Wang, H. Y. Hsu, Z. Xiao, C. J. Xian, A three-dimensional finite element modelling of human chest injury following front or side impact loading, J. Vibroeng., 18 (2016), 539-550.

22. Z. Cai, Z. Li, J. Dong, Z. Mao, L. Wang, C. J. Xian, A study on protective performance of bullet-proof helmet under impact loading, J. Vibroeng., 18 (2016), 2027-2079.

23. L. E. Bilston. L. E. Thibault, The mechanical properties of the human cervical spinal cord in vitro, Ann. Biomed. Eng., 24 (1996), 67-74.

24. Y. Kato, T. Kanchiku, Y. Imajo, K. Kimura, K. Ichihara, S. Kawano, et al., Biomechanical study of the effect of degree of static compression of the spinal cord in ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, J. Neurosurg. Spine, 12 (2010), 301-305.

25. B. Khuyagbaatar, K. Kim, W. M. Park, Y. H. Kim, Effect of posterior decompression extent on biomechanical parameters of the spinal cord in cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. H, 230 (2016), 545-552.

26. D. J. Anderson, D. R. Kipke, S. J. Nagel, S. Lempka, A. G. Machado, M. T. Holland, et al., Intradural spinal cord stimulation: Performance modeling of a new modality, Front. Neurosci., 13 (2019), 253.

27. N. B. Ramirez, R. E. Arias-Berrios, C. Lopez-Acevedo, E. Ramos, Traumatic central cord syndrome after blunt cervical trauma: a pediatric case report, Spinal Cord Ser. Cases, 2 (2016), 16014.

28. R. C. Schneider, G. Cherry, H. Pantek, The syndrome of acute central cervical spinal cord injury; with special reference to the mechanisms involved in hyperextension injuries of cervical spine, J. Neurosurg., 11 (1954), 546-577.

29. B. Aarabi, M. N. Hadley, S. S. Dhall, D. E. Gelb, R. J. Hurlbert, C. J. Rozzelle, Management of acute traumatic central cord syndrome (ATCCS), Neurosurgery, 72 (2013), 195-204.

30. S. Z. Hashmi, A. Marra, L. G. Jenis, A. A. Patel, Current concepts: Central cord syndrome, Clin. Spine Surg., 31 (2018), 407-412.

31. C. Xiaofei, N. Bin, L. Qi, J. Chen, H. Guan, Q. Guo, Clinical and radiological outcomes of spinal cord injury without radiologic evidence of trauma with cervical disc herniation, Arch. Orthop. Trauma Surg., 133 (2013), 193-198.

© 2020 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved