Biomechanics

The mission of the ARCCA biomechanics department is to critically analyze dynamic environments to understand the human body’s response in terms of movements (i.e. kinematics) and forces (i.e. kinetics). These dynamic environments include motor vehicle collisions, slips, trips, falls, assaults, and fatalities. Our biomechanical experts use methodologies that are accepted as accurate and reliable in the scientific community. The training and experience of our biomechanical experts provides a unique understanding of physics and engineering in the context of human anatomy and physiology that enables a thorough scientific evaluation of any dynamic environment.

In many scenarios, biomechanical analyses focus on injury causation to determine how/if a dynamic environment created the injury mechanism responsible for a particular diagnosis. For example, biomechanical analyses of a motor vehicle collision can assess the design and performance of the occupant protection system to determine if an alternative design could have prevented serious injuries provided the same crash circumstances. Biomechanical analyses of injury causation can also be an effective tool in determining the response of the human body during slips, trips, and falls. Our biomechanical experts can often determine if a particular event could have occurred as described and if the event could have created the injury mechanism responsible for the diagnosis. Biomechanics can also determine the role a helmet plays in preventing injuries during motorcycle or bicycle accidents, as well as during sporting activities such as hockey, lacrosse, football, and baseball.

At the core of many biomechanical analyses of injury causation is an in-depth evaluation of the injury mechanism. Injuries to the human body occur only when a sufficient force is applied to the body in the proper manner. Our biomechanical experts are uniquely qualified to understand and evaluate these injury mechanisms for the entire human body.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs):  Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) represent a general classification of brain trauma that can be broken down into biomechanical categories that include diffuse brain injuries such as concussion, focal brain injuries with or without coup/contrecoup pathologies, and penetrating trauma. Each of these brain injury pathologies has a specific injury mechanism that our biomechanical experts evaluate to determine its absence or presence during a dynamic situation.

Spinal Injuries:  Spinal injuries also have specific injury mechanisms that are required for injury causation. Whether the spinal injury involves bony fractures or soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash or intervertebral disc herniations, there is a specific force that has to be applied in the proper manner to cause that injury.

Upper and Lower Extremity Injuries:  Upper extremity trauma involving the rotator cuff, labrum, or peripheral nerves also have readily identifiable injury mechanisms that can be used to distinguish their origin. Finally, our biomechanical engineers routinely investigate the causes of lower extremity injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears, meniscus tears, or more serious injuries such as femur fractures.

A biomechanical analysis can quantify and analyze the forces and movements associated with a specific impact in the context of a diagnosed injury to ultimately assess injury causation.