The aim of this project is to assess the behaviour of the femur in what is believed to be a more physiological manner than can be achieved using fixed boundary condition finite element modelling. This is done through the use of a free boundary condition model in which muscular and ligamentous contributions to the behaviour of the femoral construct, including representations of the hip and knee joints, are explicitly included. The project uses similar methodologies to an exisitng project looking at free boundary condition modelling of the pelvis.
The developed model is currently being used as the basis for a series of studies looking at experimental and computational representations of the femur, as well as for the development of a reference orthotropic model of the femur for use in fracture studies.
The central rational behind the free boundary condition modelling approach is to avoid the use of rigid constraints on the bony constructs; instead applying flexible boundary conditions to the cortex of bones through spring elements representative of the muscles and ligaments crossing the joints. In the case of the muscles spanning beyond the construct fixed boundary conditions are applied distant to the construct at reference points representing muscle insertions as appropriate.
Full details of the model are given in:
- Phillips, ATM, The Femur as a Musculo-Skeletal Construct: a Free Boundary Condition Modelling Approach, Medical Engineering & Physics, 31(6):673-680, 2009