Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Cynthia Dunning


Distal radius fractures are prevalent, debilitating, and costly. This thesis conducts an in vitro investigation of these injuries, examining the role of static muscle loading on fracture threshold measures (i.e., force, impulse, energy). Initially, an impact apparatus and custom LabVIEW colour-thresholding program were designed and assessed for repeatability and accuracy in quantifying fracture measures and impact kinematics. These tools were then used to test six pairs of cadaveric forearms, with static muscle loads simulated in one specimen from each pair. Distal radius fractures were achieved in 5 pairs, with perilunate dislocations in the remaining pair. None of the fracture threshold measures assessed presented differences attributed to the muscle forces applied. With the appropriate impact apparatus and colour-thresholding techniques now developed and validated, future testing will examine the effects of higher muscle loads to determine if they may have an effect of the fracture threshold of the distal radius.