Welcome to our new website

Bone strain: a determinant of gait and speed?
A. A. Biewener, C. R. Taylor


Principal strains were recorded in vivo from the radial and tibial midshafts of three goats as they increased speed and changed gait. These data were compared with strain data measured for the radius and tibia of the dog (Rubin & Lanyon, 1982) and the horse (Biewener, Thomason & Lanyon, 1983b) in order to test the hypothesis that similar peak bone strains (stresses) occur at functionally equivalent points in the gaits of different species. Multiple recordings of in vivo strain along the caudal diaphyses of the radius and tibia of one goat were made to test the validity of this technique for measuring peak locomotor stress. Measured strains were extremely consistent over the animal's full range of speed (coefficient of variation for the radius 0.05-0.08, and for the tibia 0.06-0.11). The data from the three gauges, which were spaced 15 mm apart, demonstrated that maximal strains act at the midshaft, substantiating the use of this technique to measure peak locomotor bone strains. Strain levels recorded at the trot-gallop transition and top galloping speeds of the goat were similar to the values reported for the dog and horse, despite large differences in absolute speed (goat, 4.3 ms-1; dog, 6.9 ms-1; horse, 7.5 ms-1 at maximum gallop). The second moments of area of the tibia and radius (+ ulna) of the dog are 29% and 113% greater than for goats of equal size, explaining how similar strains are achieved in the dog at higher speeds than the goat. Furthermore, peak bone strains recorded at the fastest trotting speed were similar to those recorded at the fastest galloping speed for each species. Peak strains recorded for the goat at a maximum gallop correspond to stresses of +37.9 MPa (cranial) and −47.7 MPa (caudal) in the radius and +36.3 MPa (cranial) and −50.3 MPa (caudal) in the tibia, representing a safety factor to yield failure of three.