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Spinal Accelerations on Theme Park Rides

By Amy Clarke and Clayton J. Adam


While theme park rides are carefully designed, the spinal accelerations experienced by riders are not well known, thus their suitability for paediatric patients who have undergone surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is not clear. Scoliosis surgery involves spinal fusion, a process which takes 3-6 months post-surgery for bridging bone to grow between adjacent vertebrae. Currently, doctors advise their patients on activities which are suitable to participate in, post surgery. This project, initiated by Surgeons and the Paediatric Spine Research Group at the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, aims to determine the suitability of this popular activity for post surgery AIS patients.\ud The measured spinal accelerations on various local theme park rides were compared to spinal accelerations experienced during acceptable post surgery activities determined by health professionals. Initial findings suggest slightly higher G forces are experienced riding thene park rides, with little attenuation from L1 to C4. In addition, the data measured was used to perform a biomechanical assessment of the scoliotic spine in comparison to the 'normal' spine

Topics: 090302 Biomechanical Engineering
Year: 2007
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