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  • Author: Felix Capanni x
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Fabian Mager, Jim Richards, Malika Hennies, Eugen Dötzel, Ambreen Chohan, Alex Mbuli and Felix Capanni

Forefoot stiffness has been shown to influence joint biomechanics. However, little or no data exist on metatarsophalangeal stiffness. Twenty-four healthy rearfoot strike runners were recruited from a staff and student population at the University of Central Lancashire. Five repetitions of shod, self-selected speed level walking, and jogging were performed. Kinetic and kinematic data were collected using retroreflective markers placed on the lower limb and foot to create a 3-segment foot model using the calibrated anatomical system technique. Ankle and metatarsophalangeal moments and angles were calculated. Stiffness values were calculated using a linear best fit line of moment versus of angle plots. Paired t tests were used to compare values between walking and jogging conditions. Significant differences were seen in ankle range of motion, but not in metatarsophalangeal range of motion. Maximum moments were significantly greater in the ankle during jogging, but these were not significantly different at the metatarsophalangeal joint. Average ankle joint stiffness exhibited significantly lower stiffness when walking compared with jogging. However, the metatarsophalangeal joint exhibited significantly greater stiffness when walking compared with jogging. A greater understanding of forefoot stiffness may inform the development of footwear, prosthetic feet, and orthotic devices, such as ankle foot orthoses for walking and sporting activities.

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Felix Capanni, Kirk Hansen, Daniel C. Fitzpatrick, Steven M. Madey and Michael Bottlang

Impact damping by elastic fixation is a principal engineering strategy to increase the durability of load-bearing structures exposed to prolonged dynamic loading. This biomechanical study evaluated axial impact damping provided by a novel dynamic locking plate. In this design, locking screw holes are elastically suspended within a silicone envelope inside the locking plate. Axial impact damping was assessed for 3 distinct fixation constructs applied to bridge a 10-mm fracture gap of a femoral diaphysis surrogate: a standard locking plate, a dynamic locking plate, and an Ilizarov ring fixator. First, the 3 fixation constructs were characterized by determining their axial stiffness. Subsequently, constructs were subjected to a range of axial impact loads to quantify damping of force transmission. Compared with standard locked plating constructs, dynamic plating constructs were 58% less stiff (P < .01) and Ilizarov constructs were 88% less stiff (P < .01). Impact damping correlated inversely with construct stiffness. Compared with standard plating, dynamic plating constructs and Ilizarov constructs dampened the transmission of impact loads by up to 48% (P < .01) and 74% (P < .01), respectively. In conclusion, lower construct stiffness correlated with superior damping of axial impact loads. Dynamic locking plates provide significantly greater impact damping compared with standard locking plates.