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The binding release values for alpine skiers recommended by the International Association for Safety in Skiing (IAS) are based on the lower leg strength, partly derived from testing of tibia cadaver specimens. Telemetric studies on the slope have disclosed that the musculature may increase the lower leg-loading capacity. The magnitude of this muscle contribution to the leg-loading capacity is, however, difficult to determine in humans. The results of three-point bending tests of the lower leg of rats during tetanic muscle contraction induced by electrical stimulation of the ischiatic nerve is presented. The contralateral tibia without soft tissues served as a control. The increase in average ultimate bending moment was 76%. The mean ultimate bending stiffness decreased to 96%, whereas ultimate deflection angle increased by 94% and ultimate (absorbed) energy by 230%.
skiing, leg-loading capacity, tibial fracture, muscle contraction, nerve stimulation
Research fellow, Institute for Surgical Research, Rikshospitalet The National HospitalSophies Minde Orthopaedic Hospital, Oslo,
Professor and chairman, Surgical Clinic, Ullevaal Hospital; University of Oslo,