Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Analysis of cervical spine injury mechanisms following impacts: an example from rugby union Event

13 June 2017
Building 07, Room 3027

For more information regarding this event, please email Dario Carugo at .

Event details

Bioengineering Seminar - Dr Sabina Gheduzzi (University of Bath)

Abstract: Collision sports, such as Rugby Union, American football and Ice Hockey to name a few, are associated with a relatively high injury rate. Focussing on Rugby Union, acute catastrophic spinal injuries are rare, however they are devastating when they occur. The ultimate aim of this research programme is to reduce the number and severity of spinal injury in rugby union. To achieve this a research programme was undertaken to understand the mechanisms by which cervical spine failure occurs. This included: 1. the analysis of existing video footage of rugby tackles having resulted in injury, 2. a biomechanical analysis of players under laboratory and simulated ‘free’ play conditions, 3. the impact testing of porcine spines subject loading conditions typical of rugby events, 4. the development of a musculoskeletal model to predict joint loading and muscle activation during play and 4. the development of a player specific FEA model to evaluate the response of humans spines to impacts arising from rugby. While the research is still ongoing, three main findings have been identified so far: a) lateral bending moments are most likely to be associated with cervical injury; b) there is a separation in the motion and loading of the lower and upper segments of the spine during scrummaging; c) the posture of the player is a key factor in injury prevention.  Biography: Sabina Gheduzzi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath. She is Chair of the Board of Trustees and past Treasurer for the British Orthopaedic Research Society. Sabina has published over peer-reviewed manuscripts and 70 conference transactions.
Sabina’s research has broadly involved the study of biomechanics and biomaterials. In particular she has contributed to the development of biofidelic testing devices and protocols and has participated in a number of studies aimed at evaluating the performance of medical devices. She has a particular interest in the load transfer in the spine and the mechanism associated with back pain.
Sabina graduated in 1995 from the University of Modena, Italy, with a degree in Materials Engineering. After a short period in industry she joined the University of Bath to complete her doctoral studies. She received her PhD in 2001 with a thesis titled Fracture healing assessment by quantitative ultrasound measurements. She was appointed lecturer in the (then) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Bristol in 2001. She returned to Bath in 2006. She was First Year Academic Tutor from 2006 to 2009, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Tutor from 2009 to 2012.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.