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Biomechanics, Bone Quality and Strength

  • R. Huiskes
  • T. S. Kaastad
Chapter

Abstract

Osteoporosis is a biomechanical problem. It is not a problem by itself — on the contrary, osteoporosis gives you less weight to carry around. But osteoporotic bone is less strong than normal bone, and it is only the prospect of a fracture that gives it an undesirable aspect. Fracture is a matter of stress versus strength; hence, it is a biomechanical problem. A fracture will only occur if the force on a bone is higher than its strength, or when its strength is lower than the force it is subjected to. In the case of a hip or a wrist fracture, a super-normal, traumatic impact force is usually involved, and one may wonder whether the bone would not have broken equally well if it was not osteoporotic. But in the case of a vertebral fracture the forces are usually not much higher than normal; the fracture is often spontaneous. Whatever the difference, the principle remains the same: fracture risk is found in the balance of force versus resistance to force; stress versus strength (Fig. 5.1).

Keywords

Bone Mass Trabecular Bone Cancellous Bone Bone Strength Bone Quality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Huiskes
  • T. S. Kaastad

There are no affiliations available

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