Fracture simulation of the femoral bone using the finite-element method: How a fracture initiates and proceeds

Research paper by Toyotsugu Ota, Itsuo Yamamoto, Rikushi Morita

Indexed on: 01 May '99Published on: 01 May '99Published in: Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism


Structural analysis of bones is now actively studied by many researchers using the finite-element method (FEM) to better understand the mechanism of bone fractures. Most previous studies, however, only obtained distribution patterns of stress or strain, and did not show how a fracture initiates and proceeds or how a fracture line grows. The purpose of this study was to simulate a fracture procedure using FEM and to assess its usefulness. Correlation of the strain value of the simulation and of the experiment was satisfactory (r = .81). The simulated fracture process and the consequent fracture lines were quite compatible with the experimental fracture. Quantitatively, however, there was a difference of yield load between the simulation and the experiment, i.e., 2000 N and 8400 N, respectively, likely caused by inaccuracies of material properties of the elements of the finite-element model.