Musculo-skeletal shock absorption: Relative contribution of bone and soft tissues at various frequencies

I. L. Paul, Michael B. Munro, P. J. Abernethy, S. R. Simon, E. L. Radin, R. M. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In order to study the relative contribution of bone and soft tissue in the attenuation of peak dynamic force as a function of frequency, the legs of rabbits with a force transducer implanted in their upper tibial shaft were impulsively loaded with a variety of cams. The effects of this loading were studied with the animals anesthetized and after removal of various soft tissue constituents of the lower extremities. The results were subjected to frequency analysis. There was no difference in results whether the animal was awake or asleep. A resonance frequency between 6-9 Hz existed in the bone of all animals tested. Soft tissue and bone attenuated peak forces most effectively at higher frequency ranges. These components tended to complement the previously described shock-absorbing mechanism involving the stretching of muscle under tension, which appears to be more effective at lower frequencies. The heel pad contributed to peak force attenuation over the entire measured frequency spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-239
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


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