Forces in Joints

  • R. Bruce Martin
  • David B. Burr
  • Neil A. Sharkey


The skeleton is first and foremost a mechanical organ. Its primary functions are to transmit forces from one part of the body to another and to protect certain other organs (e.g., the brain) from mechanical forces that could damage them. Therefore, the principal biologic role of skeletal tissues is to bear loads with limited amounts of deformation. To appreciate the mechanical attributes that these tissues must have to perform this role, it is necessary to learn something about the forces which whole bones normally carry. In most cases, these forces result from loads being passed from the part of the body in contact with a more or less rigid environmental surface (e.g., the heel on the ground when walking) through one or more bones to the applied or supported load (e.g., the torso). In addition to the forces transmitted in bone-to-bone contact, muscle and ligament forces act on the bones, and these forces (especially the muscle forces) are large and important.


Muscle Force Ground Reaction Force Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene Joint Center Joint Force 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bruce Martin
    • 1
  • David B. Burr
    • 2
  • Neil A. Sharkey
    • 3
  1. 1.Orthopaedics Research Laboratories, Research Building IUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, MS 259Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Center for Locomotion StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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