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Foot Ankle Int. 1998 Jul;19(7):479-84.

Local bone deformation at two predominant sites for stress fractures of the tibia: an in vivo study.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Karolinska Institutet at Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


Local bone deformation was registered at two predominant injury sites for tibial stress fractures in a healthy female volunteer. Two instrumented strain gauge staples were inserted under local anesthesia to the anterior middiaphysis (AM) and to the posteromedial part of the distal tibia (PD). Calibration and reliability of the instrumented staple system have previously been demonstrated in vitro. Concomitant ground reaction forces were registered with a Kistler force plate. Studying peak values, it was shown that during a voluntary 30-cm forward jump, PD deformation was greater during forefoot landing (2700-4200 microstrain) than during a heel strike landing (1200-1900 microstrain) and also compared with the concomitant AM deformation under both above testing conditions (1300-1900 microstrain). The stance phase during walking resulted in PD deformation of 950 microstrain, whereas the concomitant AM deformation was 334 microstrain. The greatest AM deformation (mean, 2128 microstrain) was registered during ground contact after a voluntary vertical drop from a height of 45 cm, concomitant with a PD deformation of 436 microstrain. These data are the first to show different local deformations at various sites of the tibia in vivo. The PD deformation was larger than previously noted from other parts of the tibia, whereas the middiaphysis data are consistent with other reports. The results may support the clinical assumption of different etiologies for stress fractures at these predominant sites.

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