The Effects of Body Position on Trochanteric Soft Tissue Thickness—Implications for Predictions of Impact Force and Hip Fracture Risk During Lateral Falls Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Trochanteric soft tissue thickness (TSTT) is a protective factor against fall-related hip fractures. This study’s objectives were to determine: (1) the influence of body posture on TSTT and (2) the downstream effects of TSTT on biomechanical model predictions of fall-related impact force (Ffemur) and hip fracture factor of risk. Ultrasound was used to measure TSTT in 45 community-dwelling older adults in standing, supine, and side-lying positions with hip rotation angles of −25°, 0°, and 25°. Supine TSTT (mean [SD] = 5.57 [2.8] cm) was 29% and 69% greater than in standing and side-lying positions, respectively. The Ffemur based on supine TSTT (3380 [2017] N) was 19% lower than the standing position (4173 [1764] N) and 31% lower than the side-lying position (4908 [1524] N). As factor of risk was directly influenced by Ffemur, the relative effects on fracture risk were similar. While less pronounced (<10%), the effects of hip rotation angle were consistent across TSTT, Ffemur, and factor of risk. Based on the sensitivity of impact models to TSTT, these results highlight the need for a standardized TSTT measurement approach. In addition, the consistent influence of hip rotation on TSTT (and downstream model predictions) support its importance as a factor that may influence fall-related hip fracture risk.

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publication date

  • December 1, 2021