Effectiveness of Adjustable Cervical Orthoses and Modular Cervical Thoracic Orthoses in Restricting Neck Motion: A Comparative in vivo Biomechanical Study

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The effectiveness of adjustable cervical orthoses and modular cervical thoracic orthoses in restricting neck motion was evaluated in vivo. Modular cervical thoracic orthoses displayed overall poorer performance in neck restriction when compared with Aspen cervical thoracic orthosis, whereas adjustable cervical orthoses showed overall comparable performance to Aspen collar. Study Design. In vivo biomechanical study. Objective. To compare the effectiveness of adjustable cervical orthoses (COs) and modular cervical thoracic orthoses (CTOs) with standard devices in restricting neck motion in all 3 anatomical planes. Summary of Background Data. No literature is available regarding the effectiveness of adjustable COs and modular CTOs in restricting neck motion, and existing in vivo evaluation methodologies lack consistency and objectivity. Methods. The effectiveness of adjustable COs (Vista collar and Vista multipost collar) and modular CTOs (Vista TS, Vista TS with multipost, and Vista TS4 with multipost) in comparison with standard devices (Aspen collar [AC] and Aspen cervical thoracic orthosis) in restricting neck motion across 3 anatomical planes was studied in vivo in 27 healthy participants across prescribed loading levels ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 N·m. Neck range of motion allowed was compared between devices using Tukey post hoc test. The compliance of devices in restricting flexion and extension was obtained via a linear regression model. Results. When compared with modular CTOs, Aspen CTO was significantly more effective at motion restriction in both sagittal and frontal planes under loading level higher than 1.5 N·m. Modular CTOs outperformed adjustable COs in most of the cases but were fairly comparable with the standard CO (i.e., AC). Adjustable COs were just as effective as standard COs. The compliances of devices in restricting neck flexion ranked in ascending order were 0.83 (Aspen CTO), 1.53 (Vista TS with multipost), 1.60 (Vista TS4 with multipost), 1.77 (Vista multipost collar), 1.78 (AC), 1.99 (Vista TS), and 2.43 (Vista Collar) degrees per N·m. Conclusion. Overall, modular CTOs had poorer performance in neck restriction than their standard counterpart (ACTO), whereas adjustable COs showed overall comparable performance to their standard counterpart (AC). The outcomes may assist clinicians in selecting appropriate devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1046-E1051
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015



  • 3-point force control
  • 4-point force control
  • cervical orthosis
  • cervical thoracic orthosis
  • effectiveness
  • modular component
  • neck motion
  • range of motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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