There are approximately 23,000 cases of hip fracture every year in Canada with associated treatment costs of about $1 billion. Approximately 20% of older adults hospitalised for hip fracture will die within one year, and about 50% will suffer a major decline in independence. Given the aging of the population and the exponential increase in fracture risk with age, hip fracture incidence is expected to increase 4-fold by the year 2041.
Towards addressing this important public health issue, our lab contributes leading-edge knowledge regarding the basic mechanisms underlying dynamics of the pelvis during fall-related lateral impacts.
One area of research involves characterizing system state parameters at the moment of impact initiation during lateral falls on the hip. This knowledge informs the development and validation of robust mathematical models that accurately predict the loads applied to the pelvis during fall-related impacts. The initial stages of model development have focussed on low-energy impacts from human volunteers. Secondary stages involve evaluating and refining models based on higher energy impacts simulated with:
- Mechanical test system
Ongoing studies use the experimental paradigms described above to develop and test the influence of novel external engineering devices (e.g. compliant safety floors, wearable hip protectors) on dynamics of the pelvis during lateral impacts.