Load along the femur shaft during activities of daily living

V. D'Angeli, C. Belvedere, M. Ortolani, S. Giannini, A. Leardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comprehensive knowledge of the loads applied during activities of daily living to the femur shaft is necessary to the design of direct attachments of relevant prostheses. A motion analysis system was used together with an established protocol with skin markers to estimate the three components of the forces and moments acting on ten equidistant points along the full femur shaft. Twenty healthy young volunteers were analyzed while performing three repetitions of the following tasks: level walking at three different speeds, straight-line and with sudden changes of direction to the right and to the left, stairs ascending and descending, squat, rising from a chair and sitting down. Average load patterns, after normalisation for body weight and height, were calculated over subjects for each point, about the three anatomical axes, and for each motor task. These patterns were found consistent over subjects, but different among the anatomical axes and tasks. In general, the moments were observed limitedly influenced by the progression speed, and higher for more proximal points. The moments were also higher in abd/adduction (8.1% body weight*height on average), nearly three times larger than those in flex/extension (2.6) during stair descending. The largest value over all moments was 164.8. N. m, abd/adduction in level walking at high speed. The present results should be of value also for a most suitable level for amputation in transfemoral amputation, for in-vitro mechanical tests and for finite element models of the femur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2002-2010
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 9 2013


  • Activities of daily living
  • Femur shaft
  • Forces and moments
  • Gait analysis
  • Loads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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