Biomechanical research was conducted to outline mechanisms of cervical and lumbar vertebral body burst and wedge fractures using spines obtained from post-mortem human subjects (PMHS) and animals [1–5]. These studies incorporated full columns [1, 2] or, more commonly, three-body vertebral segments [3–6]. The method of load application most often involved static specimen placement with dynamic load application to the superior fixation using a weight-drop method or an MTS piston. While these studies experimentally induced vertebral body burst fractures, as clinically demonstrated following abrupt and severe axial loading through the pelvis, fractures resulted from unrealistic experimental boundary conditions. For example, three-body vertebral segments remove effects of spinal curvature and weight-drop or piston load application to the cranial fixation does not replicate the acceleration-driven loading as applied to the base of the spine, wherein characteristics of the acceleration versus time pulse are important in injury type and severity. Therefore, the present study developed an experimental model to mimic real-world loading situations resulting in vertebral body burst and wedge fractures.

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