Dynamic injury tolerances for long bones of the female upper extremity.
This paper presents the dynamic injury tolerances for the female humerus and forearm derived from dynamic 3-point bending tests using 22 female cadaver upper extremities. Twelve female humeri were tested at an average strain rate of 3.7+/-1.3%/s. The strain rates were chosen to be representative of those observed during upper extremity interaction with frontal and side airbags. The average moment to failure when mass scaled for the 5th centile female was 128+/-19 Nm. Using data from the in situ strain gauges during the drop tests and geometric properties obtained from pretest CT scans, an average dynamic elastic modulus for the female humerus was found to be 24.4+/-3.9 GPa. The injury tolerance for the forearm was determined from 10 female forearms tested at an average strain rate of 3.94+/-2.0%/s. Using 3 matched forearm pairs, it was determined that the forearm is 21% stronger in the supinated position (92+/-5 Nm) versus the pronated position (75+/-7 Nm). Two distinct fracture patterns were seen for the pronated and supinated groups. In the supinated position the average difference in fracture time between the radius and ulna was a negligible 0.4+/-0.3 ms. However, the pronated tests yielded an average difference in fracture time of 3.6+/-1.2 ms, with the ulna breaking before the radius in every test. This trend implies that in the pronated position, the ulna and radius are loaded independently, while in the supinated position the ulna and radius are loaded together as a combined structure. To produce a conservative injury criterion, a total of 7 female forearms were tested in the pronated position, which resulted in the forearm injury criterion of 58+/-12 Nm when scaled for the 5th centile female. It is anticipated that these data will provide injury reference values for the female forearm during driver air bag loading, and the female humerus during side air bag loading.
Duma, SM; Schreiber, PH; McMaster, JD; Crandall, JR; Bass, CR; Pilkey, WD
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