Abstract

During long duration space flight, astronauts must exercise to prevent bone demineralization. Exercises are used as countermeasures to the bone mineral loss. The effectiveness of the countermeasures is closely related to the mechanical stress developed during the exercises. A finite element model of the human femur was developed to determine the stress distribution during weight bearing. The model was developed using serial, transverse magnetic resonance images. The finite element analysis performed on the femur model showed an area of high stress in the femoral neck of approximately 1,200 psi. The highest stress seen in the model was approximately 2,000 psi. This information will then be used to evaluate the proposed exercises to be used as countermeasures.

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