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Research Papers

Biomechanical and Injury Response of Human Foot and Ankle Under Complex Loading

[+] Author and Article Information
Jaeho Shin

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department,
University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Costin D. Untaroiu

Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of
Biomedical Engineering and Sciences,
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24060
e-mail: costin@vt.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Manuscript received January 19, 2013; final manuscript received July 19, 2013; accepted manuscript posted July 29, 2013; published online September 20, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Zong-Ming Li.

J Biomech Eng 135(10), 101008 (Sep 20, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1026; doi: 10.1115/1.4025108 History: Received January 19, 2013; Revised July 19, 2013; Accepted July 29, 2013

Ankle and subtalar joint injuries of vehicle front seat occupants are frequently recorded during frontal and offset vehicle crashes. A few injury criteria for foot and ankle were proposed in the past; however, they addressed only certain injury mechanisms or impact loadings. The main goal of this study was to investigate numerically the tolerance of foot and ankle under complex loading which may appear during automotive crashes. A previously developed and preliminarily validated foot and leg finite element (FE) model of a 50th percentile male was employed in this study. The model was further validated against postmortem human subjects (PMHS) data in various loading conditions that generates the bony fractures and ligament failures in ankle and subtalar regions observed in traffic accidents. Then, the foot and leg model were subjected to complex loading simulated as combinations of axial, dorsiflexion, and inversion loadings. An injury surface was fitted through the points corresponding to the parameters recorded at the time of failure in the FE simulations. The compelling injury predictions of the injury surface in two crash simulations may recommend its application for interpreting the test data recorded by anthropometric test devices (ATD) during crash tests. It is believed that the methodology presented in this study may be appropriate for the development of injury criteria under complex loadings corresponding to other body regions as well.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Simulation setup of the axial impact test

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Fig. 2

(a) FE approach to define the center of rotation in inversion/eversion loadings. (b) Simulation setup of the inversion/eversion tests

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Fig. 3

Simulation setup for complex loading including axial, inversion, and dorsiflexion loadings

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Fig. 4

Simulation setup for the simplified vehicle sled loading configuration with fixed knee bolster and dorsiflexion loading at the foot plate

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Fig. 5

(a) The FE model of the axial impact loading at 20 ms. (b) Force time history (filtered: SAE180) comparison between tests and simulation. (c) Bony fracture location-comparison between test and simulation.

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Fig. 6

The distance between the center of rotation and the heel bottom: FE calculation versus test data

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Fig. 7

Comparison between the moment-angle response in PMHS tests and FE simulations for (a) eversion loading and (b) inversion loading

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Fig. 8

Comparison between the moment-angle response in PMHS tests and FE simulations for (a) eversion loading with 2 kN axial preload and (b) inversion loading with 2 kN axial preload

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Fig. 9

Tibia forces and angles at the time of first failure under combined loadings: (a) axial-inversion loadings and (b) axial-dosiflexion loadings

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Fig. 10

Injury surface under complex loadings

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Fig. 11

(a) Injury parameters at the time of maximum tibia force (case 1) and at the time of first failure (case 2) relative to the injury boundary. (b) Deformed shapes of two different loading scenarios at the times of maximum tibia forces

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