Analysis of Stress in the Metatarsals.

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Shear and normal stresses throughout the second, third, fourth and fifth metatarsals under various loading conditions were determined mathematically using standard techniques from the theory of mechanics of solids. Anatomical data was obtained by CAT scanning the foot of a 20-year-old man at 5 mm increments. For each segment, the horizontal and vertical co-ordinates of points were determined along the outer and inner surfaces of the bone cross sections. Using this data, the stress was calculated throughout each cross-section for a load applied at the metatarsal head in the frontal plane at every 15° interval between the horizontal and the vertical directions. Maximum tensile stress occurred in the second metatarsal in the cross-sections 3.0 cm and 4.0 cm from the proximal end, and were the result of a vertical load. The maximum tensile stress in the third metatarsal occurred in the cross section 3.5 cm from the proximal end, as a result of a horizontal load applied on the lateral side. A similar loading produced the maximum tensile stress in the fourth metatarsal, at a distance of 3.0 cm from the proximal end. The maximum tensile stress in the fifth metatarsal occurred 3.5 cm from the proximal end, as a result of a load applied on the lateral side in a direction slightly inclined to the horizontal. The findings of this study closely relate to the incidence and location of metatarsal stress fractures.





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Medicine and Health Sciences | Orthopedics | Other Medical Specialties | Surgery


Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty

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