The Tolerance of the Femoral Shaft in Combined Axial Compression and Bending Loading
The likelihood of a front seat occupant sustaining a femoral shaft fracture in a frontal crash has traditionally been assessed by an injury criterion relying solely on the axial force in the femur. However, recently published analyses of real-world data indicate that femoral shaft fracture occurs at axial loads levels below those found experimentally. One hypothesis attempting to explain this discrepancy suggests that femoral shaft fracture tends to occur as a result of combined axial compression and applied bending. The current study aims to evaluate this hypothesis by investigating how these two loading components interact. Femoral shafts harvested from human cadavers were loaded to failure in axial compression, sagittal plane bending, and combined axial compression and sagittal plane bending.