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J Biomech. 1983;16(2):129-39.

Geometric properties of equine metacarpi.


Paired equine metacarpals were harvested, cleaned and sectioned transversely every 20 mm, and the bone geometry analyzed with a computer program. The cross-sectional area is largest in the middle third of the bone, and tapers off at either end. The principal axes are typically within 15 degrees of the anatomical axis, with the distal end rotated internally relative to the proximal end. At midshafts the bending stiffness in the antero-posterior plane is about 2/3 of the stiffness in the medio-lateral plane. The torsional stiffness is highest proximally. The equine third metacarpal appears to be designed to resist axial compression and mediolateral bending very well, and exhibits uniform resistance to torsion along its length.

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