Identifying the loading conditions under which the femur is most likely to fracture may aid the prevention of hip fracture. This study quantified the effect of force direction on fracture load, a factor inherently associated with fracture risk. Finite element (FE) models of four femora were used to determine the force directions associated with the lowest fracture loads. Force directions were varied three-dimensionally for two types of loading, one representing impact from a fall and one similar to joint loading during daily activities (atraumatic loading). For the fall configuration, the force direction with lowest fracture load corresponded to an impact onto the posterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter. For atraumatic loading, the lowest fracture loads for the force directions analyzed occurred when posterior force components were relatively large or when posterior and lateral components were both small, similar to conditions while standing on one leg or climbing stairs. When both fall and atraumatic configurations are considered, the type of loading associated with greatest fracture risk, i.e., with the greatest applied force and lowest fracture load, is impact from a fall onto the posterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter. Therefore, evaluation of hip fracture risk and development of fracture prevention technologies should focus on this high-risk loading condition. © 2001 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyak, J. H., Skinner, H. B., & Fleming, J. A. (2001). Effect of force direction on femoral fracture load for two types of loading conditions. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 19(4), 539–544. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0736-0266(00)00046-2