Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System 4th
Biomechanics uses physics and engineering concepts to describe the motion undergone by the various body segments and forces acting on these body parts during normal activities. The interrelationship of force and motion is important and must be understood if rational treatment programs are to be applied to musculoskeletal disorders. Deleterious effects may be produced if the forces acting on the areas with disorders rise to high levels during exercise or other activities of daily living. The purpose of this text is to acquaint the readers with the force-motion relationship within the musculoskeletal system and the various techniques used to understand these relationships. The fourth edition of Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System is intended
for use as a textbook either in conjunction with an introductory biomechanics course or for independent study. The fourth edition has been updated to reflect changes in knowledge, but it is still a book that is designed for use by students who are interested in and want to learn about biomechanics. It is primarily written for students who do not have an engineering background but who want to understand the most basic concepts in biomechanics and physics and how these apply to the human body.
Input from students has greatly improved this edition. We have used the book for 20 years in the Program of Ergonomics and Biomechanics at New York University, and it is the students and residents who have suggested the changes and who have continuously showed an interest in developing and improving this book. This edition has been further strengthened by the contribution of the students over the past year. We formed focus groups to understand better what the students wanted and applied their suggestions wherever possible. We retained the selected examples to illustrate the concepts needed for basic knowledge of the musculoskeletal biomechanics; we also have kept the important engineering concepts throughout the volume. The three chapters on applied biomechanics topics have been updated. Patient case studies and calculation boxes have been added to each chapter. Flowcharts appear throughout the book as teaching tools.
The text will serve as a guide to a deeper understanding of musculoskeletal biomechanics gained through further reading and independent research. The information presented should also guide the reader in assessing the literature on biomechanics. We have attempted to provide therapeutic examples but it was not our purpose to cover this area; instead, we have described the underlying basis for rational therapeutic or exercise programs.
An introductory chapter describes the importance of the study of biomechanics, and an appendix on the international system of measurements serves as an introduction to the physical measurements used throughout the book. The reader needs no more than basic knowledge of mathematics to fully comprehend the material in the book, but it is important to review the appendix on the SI System and its application to biomechanics. The body of the fourth edition is divided into three sections. The first section is the Biomechanics of Tissues and Structures of the Musculoskeletal System and covers the basic biomechanics of bone, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
The second section covers the Biomechanics of Joints, including every joint system in the human body. We have organized the chapters going from the simplest to the most complex joint in the body. While there are many ways to arrange the chapters, for example, starting from the spine and working down to the ankle, we have found that the best approach for teaching is to begin with the easiest system and progress to the most complicated. In this case, therefore, we begin the section with a chapter about the knee and end with the wrist and hand. Obviously, others may choose to teach this topic in a different order and that certainly is best left to the instructor to decide.
The third section covers some topics in Applied Biomechanics, including chapters on fracture fixation, arthroplasty, and gait. These are basic chapters that serve to introduce topics in applied biomechanics; they are not in-depth explorations of the subject. Finally, we hope that the revision and expansion of this fourth edition of Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System will bring about an increased awareness of the importance of biomechanics. It has never been our intention to completely cover the subject, but instead provide a basic introduction to the field that will lead to further study of this important topic.
Margareta Nordin, PT, Dr Sci and
Victor H. Frankel, MD, PhD, KNO
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