CRC - The Physical Measurement of Bone

Organization: CRC
Publication Date: 1 December 2003
Page Count: 638


The British scientist Lord Kelvin (William Thomson 1824-1907) stated in his lecture to the Institution of Civil Engineers on 3 May 1883 that 'I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers your knowledge is a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.' This famous remark emphasizes the importance that physical measurement has in science, medicine and patient management.

The skeleton is the fundamental framework of the human body. In addition to contributing to its shape and form, bones perform several important functions including support, protection, movement and chemical storage. Understanding the physical integrity of bone is essential to understanding its function. Knowledge of the physical properties of bone help us to predict the load the skeleton can bear, which may be further used to predict and monitor the effects of ageing and disease on bone. The physical measurement of bone is also of value in a number of other avenues including the clinical management of osteoporosis, hip replacement, rheumatoid arthritis and osteomalacia.

In this book, various physical measurement techniques for bone are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental principles of measurement, sample preparation and sources of error. This is the first book that has addressed in one volume the various physical measurement techniques for bone.We hope it will be a useful text for a wide range of specialists including physicists, biologists, biomechanical engineers and clinicians.