Computational finite element bone mechanics accurately predicts mechanical competence in the human radius of an elderly population
Mueller, Thomas L × Christen, David Sandercott, Steve Boyd, Steven K van Rietbergen, Bert Eckstein, Felix Lochmueller, Eva-Maria Mueller, Ralph van Lenthe, Harry #
Bone vol:48 issue:6 pages:1232-1238
High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) is clinically available today and provides a non-invasive measure of 3D bone geometry and micro-architecture with unprecedented detail. In combination with microarchitectural finite element (mu FE) models it can be used to determine bone strength using a strain-based failure criterion. Yet, images from only a relatively small part of the radius are acquired and it is not known whether the region recommended for clinical measurements does predict forearm fracture load best. Furthermore, it is questionable whether the currently used failure criterion is optimal because of improvements in image resolution, changes in the clinically measured volume of interest, and because the failure criterion depends on the amount of bone present. Hence, we hypothesized that bone strength estimates would improve by measuring a region closer to the subchondral plate, and by defining a failure criterion that would be independent of the measured volume of interest. To answer our hypotheses, 20% of the distal forearm length from 100 cadaveric but intact human forearms was measured using HR-pQCT. mu FE bone strength was analyzed for different subvolumes, as well as for the entire 20% of the distal radius length. Specifically, failure criteria were developed that provided accurate estimates of bone strength as assessed experimentally. It was shown that distal volumes were better in predicting bone strength than more proximal ones. Clinically speaking, this would argue to move the volume of interest for the HR-pQCT measurements even more distally than currently recommended by the manufacturer. Furthermore, new parameter settings using the strain-based failure criterion are presented providing better accuracy for bone strength estimates. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.