Investigating Ankle Injury Mechanisms in Offset Frontal Collisions Utilizing Computer Modeling and Case-Study Data 99SC14
A significant number of documented ankle injuries incurred in
automobile accidents indicate some form of lateral loading is
present to either cause or influence injury. A high percentage of
these cases occur in the absence of occupant compartment intrusion.
To date, no specific ankle injury mechanism has been identified to
explain these types of injuries. To investigate this problem,
several resources were used including full-scale crash test data,
finite element models, and case study field data. Results from
car-to-car, offset frontal crash tests indicate a significant
lateral acceleration (10-18 g) occurs at the same time as the peak
in longitudinal acceleration. The combined loading condition
results in a significant lateral force being applied to the
foot-ankle region while the leg region is under maximum
The effects of this combined loading on the human lower limbs
were investigated using a combined finite element model of the
human lower limbs and a Hybrid III dummy. Results indicate that a
potential exists for lateral ankle injury in the eversion mode.
Maximum sub-talar rotations were as high as 43° for the 50th
percentile male and 53° for the 5th percentile female. It was
also determined that this mode of injury is not detectable with the
current lower limbs of the Hybrid III dummy.