Estimated third metatarsal bending stresses are highly susceptible to variations in bone geometry
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Reason for embargo
Background: Third metatarsal stress fractures are relatively common during Royal Marines recruit training; however, their aetiology is poorly understood. Mathematical modelling of the third metatarsal may aid in understanding risk factors for stress fracture, particularly if the influence of footwear on peak bending stresses can be determined. This study built on previous models of metatarsal bending stress by integrating individual metatarsal geometry and gait data. Methods: Data from five males with size 11 (UK) feet were acquired. MRI images were digitised to determine cross-sectional bone parameters. Gait variables included vertical ground reaction forces, plantar pressure and foot orientation. The magnitude and location of peak bending stresses were calculated for barefoot running, before standard issue combat boots and trainers were compared. Findings: Estimated peak compressive, tensile and torsional stresses were greater in combat assault boots than in trainers (p < 0.05) with medium effect sizes but wide confidence intervals. However, differences in bone geometry between individuals had a much greater influence on estimated peak stresses. Interpretation: Results suggest that bone geometry has a greater influence on third metatarsal stress fracture risk than footwear. Future bone stress simulations should account for bone geometry. Further development of the model in a variety of participants should proceed to verify these suggestions.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
Published online 11 July 2017