Biomechanics of the Pediatric Spine

The pediatric spine is inherently more malleable than its adult counterpart. This in turn allows for considerable movement between vertebral elements without incurring fractures or liga-mentous disruption. This, however, occurs at the expense of providing adequate protection to the spinal cord.

In the pediatric spinal cord, several factors account for this physiological hypermobility. The increased elasticity of the ligaments and joint capsules allows for stretching without tearing. The high water content of the annulus and disc also allows for longitudinal traction to occur by as much as 2" without rupture. Translation and flexion and extension occur more easily because the facet joints are both shallower and more horizontally oriented than in the adult. Anterior wedging of the vertebral bodies accounts for the increase in slippage between adjacent segments and lateral and rotational movements are more likely to occur before the age of 10 because of the absence of the uncinate processes in the immature vertebra. The growth zone in the vertebral bodies is found in the end plates. Disruption of this zone can easily occur, even with moderate shearing forces. The large size of the infant's head as well as the delicate nuchal musculature in the absence of full motion control expose the neck to continuous sudden flexion and extension forces. Anthropomorphic data collected on children of different age groups demonstrate that these physiological differences are significant until the pediatric spine undergoes an adult transformation at the age of 8 or 9.

Cure Your Yeast Infection For Good

Cure Your Yeast Infection For Good

The term vaginitis is one that is applied to any inflammation or infection of the vagina, and there are many different conditions that are categorized together under this ‘broad’ heading, including bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and non-infectious vaginitis.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment