Structural and biomechanical adaptations to free-fall landing in hindlimb cortical bone of growing female rats

Hsin Shih Lin, Ho Seng Wang, Hung Ta Chiu, Kuang You B. Cheng, Ar Tyan Hsu, Tsang Hai Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of the study was to investigate the adaptation process of hindlimb cortical bone subjected to free-fall landing training. Female Wistar rats (7 weeks old) were randomly assigned to four landing (L) groups and four age-matched control (C) groups (n = 12 per group): L1, L2, L4 L8, C1, C2, C4 and C8. Animals in the L1, L2, L4 and L8 groups were respectively subjected to 1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks of free-fall-landing training (40 cm height, 30 times/day and 5 days/week) while the C1, C2, C4 and C8 groups served as age-matched control groups. The tibiae of the L8 group were higher in cortical bone mineral content (BMC) than those in the C8 group (p < 0.05). Except for the higher bone mineralization over bone surface ratio (MS/BS, %) shown in the tibiae of the L1 group (p < 0.05), dynamic histomorphometry in the tibial and femoral cortical bone showed no difference between landing groups and their age-matched control groups. In the femora, the L1 group was lower than the C1 group in cortical bone area (Ct.Ar) and cortical thickness (Ct.Th) (p < 0.05); however, the L4 group was higher than the C4 group in Ct.Ar and Ct.Th (p <0.05). In the tibiae, the moment of inertia about the antero-posterior axis (Iap), Ct.Ar and Ct.Th was significantly higher in the L8 group than in the C8 group (p < 0.05). In biomechanical testing, fracture load (FL) of femora was lower in the L1 group than in the C1 group (p < 0.05). Conversely, yield load (YL), FL and yield load energy (YE) of femora, as well as FL of tibiae were all significantly higher in the L8 group than in the C8 group (p < 0.05). Free-fall landing training may initially compromise bone material. However, over time, the current free-fall landing training induced improvements in biomechanical properties and/or the structure of growing bones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun
Externally publishedYes



  • Animal model
  • Bone strength
  • Exercise
  • Mechanical loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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