INVESTIGATION ON THE CERVICAL SPINE MOTION

  • E. Schopphoff
  • R. Haaker
  • H. Stumpf
  • J. Krämer

Abstract

Several investigations on the problem of cervical spine motion describe the difficulties of measuring the movement exactly. Those models had to deal with the difficulties in fixation of the human head and to track the range of motion in degrees with respect to the three directions of movement; flexionlextension, lateral bending and rotation. The only objective method of measuring cervical spine movement and COlC1 or C11C2 displacements is the functional computer tomogram as described by Dvorak et al. The aim of our survey has been to identify differences between the "normaln and pathologic cervical spine (after whip leash injuries, disc diseases or spondylarthrosis in sport) as it relates to the range of movement and angular velocity. Two groups of 15 probants have been tested by a new computer-controlled setup. By using a three-dimensional motion-analysis-system special rigid-body software has been developed to calculate the cervical spine motion in all three coordinate directions. This represents the first time that it has been possible to obtain results about the movement and their time-derivations. These angles and the angular velocities were traced for 15 normal individuals and for 15 persons suffering with cervical spine problems. The setup for testing patients was no more than a small frame like sunglasses which gave exact information about the movement in space. This information gave accurate data which permitted calculation of the amount of motion concerning the patient's personal orientation in space and was additionally used to compute the coupled motions to the probants reference coordinate system. The present investigation demonstrated significant differences in the range of motion between normal individuals and patients with cervical spine problems in all defined direction. Our first conclusion so far is, that there are possibilities to measure those differences in cervical spine motion by the presented biomechanical measurement setup very easily. Furthermore, the setup is capable of providing accurate results about the range of motion, coupled motion and their time-derivations rapidly without the use of x-ray technology and x-ray exposition for the patient. These possibility and the good results are very important to judge problems after "ship leash injuries" and other cervical spine diseases in sport. The positive results raise the possibility that the technique may be employed to judge problems and other cervical spine injuries associated with sport. We conclude that the biomechanical measurement-setup presented here provides an easy method to measure differences in cervical spine motion.