Assessment of Stresses About The Cervical Spine:

Caused by Posture and Position of the Head

Hansraj, Kenneth K. MD
Chief of Spine Surgery,
New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine.
 New York, New York

Preamble: Billions of people are using cell phone devices on the planet, essentially in poor posture. The purpose of this study is to assess the forces incrementally seen by the cervical spine as the head is tilted forward, into worsening posture. This data is also necessary for cervical spine surgeons to understand in the reconstruction of the neck.

Materials & Methods: A model of the cervical spine was created with realistic values in Cosmosworks, a finite element assessment package. Calculations were made and then forces were extracted in newtons and then converted into pounds. We made the calculations using neck + head, which gave an average weight of 60 newtons (6kg or 13.2 pounds).   The center of mass was located 16cm above C7 or 15cm from the top of the skull.

Results: The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in the neutral position. As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees. At 90 degrees the model prediction was not reliable.

Discussion: Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine, leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries. Cervical spine surgeons need to pay attention to the alignment and therefore to the stresses about the spine when performing anterior discectomies and fusion along with arthroplasties.

About Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj:

Dr. Kenneth Hansraj is a premier spinal surgeon operating in the United States. His patients include famous directors, athletes, actors, global CEOs, CIOs, government leaders and entrepreneurs. He is the Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabililitation Medicine.

On the forefront of spinal surgery with stem cell usage in spine surgery, bloodless spine surgery, minimally invasive approaches when possible, advanced bone grafting techniques using spinal navigation to assess instrumentation placement, modern operating tables and nerve monitoring during spine surgery, Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj is a spinal and orthopedic surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic and lumbar procedures for example laminectomies and spinal fusions.

Dr. Hansraj is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Board recertified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Board Certified by the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spinal Medicine and Surgery, and Board Certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Following the completion of his general surgery and orthopedic surgery residency training at Mount Sinai Hospital and King/Drew Medical Center, (during which he completed a Fellowship in Orthopedic Biomechanics at The Hospital for Special Surgery, NY), Dr. Hansraj held a Fellowship at the California Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and a Fellowship in Spinal and Scoliosis Surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York.

Dr. Hansraj was inspired to dedicate his life to surgery early on while observing in the operating theaters of Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY with cardiothoracic surgeons Drs. Arisan Ergin and Randall Griepp at just 16 years of age. He earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia in 1987 after obtaining graduate studies in biological sciences from Columbia University, New York and an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey.

He selected spinal surgery as a sub-specialization in orthopedic surgery because it was uncharted territory at the time in contrast to other forms of more traditional orthopedic procedures including joint replacement. Dr. Hansraj wanted to be at the forefront of a new, exciting and challenging chapter in medicine and contribute to the shape of the overall future of spinal health and well-being.

Today, with more than two decades of surgical experience, Dr. Hansraj has seen and treated more than 30,000 patients, and has come to recognize and promote the critical importance of the spine as it relates to overall physical and mental well-being.



Dr. Ken Hansraj Chief of Spine Surgery New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine