As one of the major functions of bone is to provide structural support for the musculoskeletal system, it is important to evaluate its mechanical strength. Bones may be subjected to multiaxial stresses due to bone pathologies, accidental loads which may lead to hip, wrist fracture, or to a prosthetic joint replacement. Twist loading may lead to fractures, especially involving long bones from lower limbs. The aim of this work was to study the effect of the strain rate on the shear properties of trabecular bone samples from women with hip fracture (from 65 to 100 years). Cylindrical samples were core drilled from human femoral heads along the primary trabecular direction. The cylinder's ends were polished and embedded in blocks of polymeric material which fit the grips of the testing device. Deformation rates of 0.005, 0.01, 0.015, and 0.05 s−1 were applied. Twisting tests were conducted with or without an applied axial load of 500 N. From the torque-angular displacement curves, the shear stress–strain curves were obtained. The maximum shear strength and the shear modulus (i.e. the slope of the linear region) were determined. A large scatter of the results of the shear strength and the shear modulus was found, which is probably related to the heterogeneity of nonhealthy human bone samples. There is no significant effect of the strain rate on the maximum shear stress and the shear modulus, either in tests undertaken with or without the application of an axial load. The effect of strain rate on nonhealthy bone trabecular twisting properties did not follow the trend observed on the effect of strain rate in healthy bone, where an increase is detected.

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