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Foot and Ankle Forces During an Automobile Collision: the Influence of Muscles
Journal of Biomechanics
  • Elizabeth C. Hardin, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Anne Su, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Antonie J. van den Bogert, Cleveland State University
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Muscles have a potentially important effect on lower extremity injuries during an automobile collision. Computational modeling can be a powerful tool to predict these effects and develop protective interventions. Our purpose was to determine how muscles influence peak foot and ankle forces during an automobile collision. A 2-D bilateral musculoskeletal model was constructed with seven segments. Six muscle groups were included in the right lower extremity, each represented by a Hill muscle model. Vehicle deceleration data were applied as input and the resulting movements were simulated. Three models were evaluated: no muscles (NM), minimal muscle activation at a brake pedal force of 400N (MN), and maximal muscle activation to simulate panic braking (MX). Muscle activation always resulted in large increases in peak joint force. Peak ankle joint force was greatest for MX (10120N), yet this model also had the lowest peak rearfoot force (629N). Peak force on the Achilles tendon was 4.5 times greater, during MX (6446N) compared to MN (1430N). We conclude that (1) external and internal forces are dependent on muscles, (2) muscle activation level could exacerbate axial loading injuries, (3) external and internal forces can be inversely related once muscle properties are included.

This research was supported by the Aircast Foundation.

Citation Information
Hardin, E. C., Su, A., and van den Bogert, A. J., 2004, "Foot and Ankle Forces during an Automobile Collision: The Influence of Muscles," Journal of Biomechanics, 37(5) pp. 637-644.