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Reduction in Head and Intervertebral Motion Provided by 7 Contemporary Cervical Orthoses in 45 Individuals

Schneider, Adam M., MD; Hipp, John A., PhD; Nguyen, Lyndon, MS; Reitman, Charles A., MD

doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000251019.24917.44

Study Design. Biomechanical evaluation of cervical orthoses.

Objective. To provide data to help clinicians select an orthosis for immobilization of the adult cervical spine.

Summary of Background Data. There are limited data on the effectiveness of cervical orthoses at restricting intervertebral motion, and many of the commonly used, contemporary braces have not been evaluated. Additionally, no data exist comparing the effectiveness of braces in the supine versus the upright position. New technology is available to measure intervertebral motion with greater accuracy.

Methods. Overall range of motion of the head in 3 planes as well as intervertebral motion in the sagittal plane were measured in 45 healthy adult volunteers while wearing 7 cervical orthoses. Subject-reported comfort of each brace was also recorded.

Results. All braces significantly reduced intervertebral motion. Effectiveness and comfort varied between braces. In general, orthoses could be grouped as cervical braces or cervicothoracic braces. The latter was consistently better at limiting motion, with some differences within these groups as well.

Conclusion. These data will help to guide the clinician in selecting the appropriate cervical orthosis for their adult patient based on comfort, morphologic considerations, and degree of immobilization required.

Intervertebral cervical spine motion in 3 planes was quantified in 45 healthy adult volunteers wearing 7 commercially available orthoses and compared to motion with no brace. The comfort of each brace was compared. Significant differences in motion were recorded, and the results may aid clinicians in selecting a brace for their patients.

From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX.

Acknowledgment date: March 28, 2006. First revision date: July 13, 2006. Acceptance date: August 24, 2006.

The device(s)/drug(s) is/are FDA-approved or approved by corresponding national agency for this indication.

Institutional funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Charles A. Reitman, MD, 12th Floor, 1709 Dryden, Houston, TX 77030; E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.