Document Detail

Effect of elbow flexion on upper extremity impact forces during a fall.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11733126     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The overall objectives are to develop a biomechanical model for a simulated fall with outstretched hand. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study involving young healthy volunteers in a university research laboratory setting. BACKGROUND: Little is known about the factors which influence fracture risk during a fall on outstretched hand. METHODS: A group of 11 male subjects volunteered for this investigation. A set of eight reflective markers was placed bilaterally on selected anatomic landmarks. Subjects were suspended with both elbows extended and wrists dorsiflexed, preparing to impact the ground and force plates from two different fall heights: 3 and 6 cm. Two different postures for the elbows were employed. In the elbow extension experiment, the elbows were extended at all times. In the elbow flexion experiment, the elbows were extended at impact, but then flexed immediately, as though in the initial downward phase of a push-up exercise. RESULT: Increasing the fall height significantly increased the upper extremity axial forces by 10% and 5%. No significantly different differences were found in the axial forces applied to the wrist, elbow or shoulder between the elbow flexion and elbow extension trials, but the elbow mediolateral shear force was 68% larger (P=0.002) in the extension trials. CONCLUSIONS: Performing an elbow flexion movement at impact reduces the first peak impact force value and postpones the maximum peak value. Although changing the fall arrest strategy from elbow extension to elbow flexion did not affect the peak impact force on the hand, it did require substantially greater elbow and shoulder muscle strengths. RELEVANCE: This paper yields insights into how the physical demands of arresting mild falls may relate to upper extremity muscle capacity, joint dislocation and bony fracture.
P H Chou; Y L Chou; C J Lin; F C Su; S Z Lou; C F Lin; G F Huang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon)     Volume:  16     ISSN:  0268-0033     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon)     Publication Date:  2001 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-12-04     Completed Date:  2002-01-10     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8611877     Medline TA:  Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon)     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  888-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC.
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MeSH Terms
Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
Analysis of Variance
Arm Injuries / physiopathology*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Elbow Joint / injuries,  physiology*
Fractures, Bone / etiology,  prevention & control*
Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
Risk Assessment
Risk Factors
Stress, Mechanical

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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