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J Biomech. 1997 Nov-Dec;30(11-12):1101-6.

Influence of muscle activity on the forces in the femur: an in vivo study.

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Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering Centre, University of Oxford, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Headington, U.K.


Experiments were performed on two patients with custom-made instrumented massive proximal femoral prostheses implanted after tumour resection. In vivo axial forces transmitted along the prostheses were telemetered during level walking, single- and double-leg stance, and isometric exercises of the hip muscles. These activities varied the lever arms available to the external loads: minimum for double-leg stance and maximum for hip isometric exercises. Kinematic, force plate, EMG and telemetered force data were recorded simultaneously. The force magnification ratio (FMR; the ratio of the telemetered axial force to the external force) was calculated. The FMRs ranged from 1.3 (during double-leg stance) to 29.8 (during abductors test), indicating that a major part of the axial force in the long bones is a response to muscle activity, the strength of which depends on the lever arms available to the external loads. From these results, it was shown that the bulk of the bending moment along limbs is transmitted by a combination of tensile forces in muscles and compressive forces in bones, so moments transmitted by the bones are smaller than the limb moments. It was concluded that appropriate simulation of muscle forces is important in experimental or theoretical studies of load transmission along bones.

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