Abstract

An optimal body position at impact increased the force needed to cause structural yielding in the femur during a fall by up to 280%. Falls which resulted in impact on the posterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter or buttocks were the most likely to result in hip fracture. Decreasing the muscular activation level from tense to relaxed led to a 6% decrease in peak impact force. We recommend that, to be most effective, hip pads be placed on the posterolateral aspect of the greater trochanter. In addition, seniors at risk of hip fracture should be taught to relax their bodies once the onset of a fall is detected, if possible. Both interventions are effective in reducing the peak force experienced at impact.

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