Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Imaging Adapts to Spine Model

Analyzing effect of force on muscle and bone ...

"Measuring the effects of force on muscles and bones in the spine is critical for treating the types of back injuries such as those suffered by assembly-line workers. Bill Marras, PhD, of Ohio State University (Columbus) and his team have developed a computer model that enables analysis of such injuries. In addition, the team has taken a step to increase the model’s accuracy by employing an upright magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) apparatus for its research.

The presence of a stand-up MRI at the university is the result of a partnership with Dynamic Medical Imaging (Columbus). With such imaging technology, Marras and his team can take images of patients who are standing or sitting and observe actual load on the spine. Images taken on a traditional MRI that feature a subject lying flat do not yield the same clinical results, Marras explains. “From a biochemical standpoint, this [new technology] is exceptional because it tells [us] what happens when the body is experiencing forces of gravity,” he says.

Using the MRI, the team can design pushing and pulling maneuvers for patients to perform in different positions to determine the effects on the spine. Those images can be added to the computer model and can aid the group’s work on reducing and treating spine injuries.

Marras is the director of the Biodynamics Laboratory and executive director of the Institute for Ergonomics at Ohio State. He has worked with companies such as Honda, BMW, Ford, and RCA to find ways to reduce injuries among workers. “Back pain is really a large problem. In terms of occupational injuries, it represents about 20% of workers’ compensation claims and 40% of the cost,” Marras said in an e-mail interview."    (Continued via MDDI)    [Ergonomics Resources]

MRI While Lifting - Ergonomics

MRI While Lifting

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