Disc injuries in Frontal Impacts
Wismans et al performed twelve postmortem human subjects (PMHS) autopsies in a frontal impact testing at 15 and 23 gs. These PMHS had died from non-traumatic causes, such as poisoning or suffocation. All cadavers were restrained in three-point belt systems. After the sled impacts, each PMHS was autopsied. In seven tests cervical disc injuries were noted, including hemorrhage, tears, protrusions in the C3-C4-C5-C6-C7 levels. Disc protrusions were noted under the posterior longitudinal ligament. Lacerations to the ligamentum flavum were also observed. The detailed autopsy found no evidence of any fractures to the cervical spine, although two cadavers had anterior T2 fractures. Kallieris et al conducted cadaver testing in 23 frontal impact tests with delta-Vs of 30-60 km/h into a barrier. The most common injury noted in the cervical spine was intervertebral disc hemorrhages (20%), followed by ligamentum flavum injuries at C6-T1 levels, and fractures at T2 level.