Journal of Biomechanics vol:46 issue:4 pages:759-66
High-resolution in vivo bone micro-architecture assessment, as possible now for the distal forearm, in combination with bone remodelling simulation algorithms could, eventually, predict patient-specific bone morphology changes. To simulate load-adaptive bone remodelling, however, physiological loading conditions must be defined. In this paper we test a previously developed algorithm to estimate such physiological loading conditions from the bone micro-architecture. The aims of this study were to investigate if realistic boundary forces and moments are predicted for the scanned distal radius section and how these predicted forces and moments should be distributed to the scanned section in order to obtain a load transfer similar to that in situ. Images at in vivo resolution were generated for the clinically measured section of nine distal radius cadaver bones, converted to micro-finite element models and used for load estimation. Models of the full distal radius were created to analyse tissue loading distributions of the sections in situ. It was found that predicted forces and moments at the boundaries of the scanned region varied considerably but, when translated to equivalent radiocarpal joint forces, agreed well with values reported in the literature. Bone tissue loading distribution was in best agreement with in situ distributions when loading was applied to an extra layer of material at both ends of the clinical scan region. The agreement of the predicted loading to previous studies and the wide range of predicted loading values indicate that subject-specific bone loading estimation is possible and necessary.