Title

Biomechanical Study of Stress in the Fifth Metatarsal.

Publication/Presentation Date

4-1-1997

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The stress throughout the fifth metatarsal was determined under various loading conditions, in order to better understand the causes of fractures to this bone. DESIGN: A mathematical approach was taken, in which the stresses were analysed using the methods of beam theory. BACKGROUND: Finite element analysis has frequently been used to determine the stress in bones. Beam theory provides an easier method for determining the force and moment resultant in any cross-section. The distribution of stress throughout the cross-section can then be found by solving certain partial differential equations defined on the cross-sections. METHODS: Cross-sections of the bone were obtained by slicing a mould, into which the bone was placed, at numerous intervals along its length. Analytic expressions describing each cross-section were obtained by fitting a Fourier series to a sequence of points along the boundary. RESULTS: The maximum stress found in the fifth metatarsal resulted from an oblique load, and had a magnitude less than would occur in a subject during normal walking. CONCLUSIONS: Since the magnitude of the stress is submaximal, this study lends theoretical support to the clinical observation that the diaphyseal fracture is indeed a stress fracture. RELEVANCE: Our analysis adds a biomechanical rationale to the pathomechanics of diaphyseal stress fractures of the fifth metatarsal. It suggests that inversion during repetitive activities may predispose the foot to fractures at a predictable location.

Volume

12

Issue

3

First Page

160

Last Page

164

ISSN

1879-1271

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Medical Specialties | Surgery

PubMedID

11415688

Department(s)

Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty

Document Type

Article