Reliable simulations of the human proximal femur by high-order finite element analysis validated by experimental observations

Zohar Yosibash, Nir Trabelsi, Charles Milgrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Background: The mechanical response of patient-specific bone to various load conditions is of major clinical importance in orthopedics. Herein we enhance the methods presented in Yosibash et al. [2007. A CT-based high-order finite element analysis of the human proximal femur compared to in-vitro experiments. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 129(3), 297-309.] for the reliable simulations of the human proximal femur by high-order finite elements (FEs) and validate the simulations by experimental observations. Method of approach: A fresh-frozen human femur was scanned by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and thereafter loaded (in vitro experiments) by a quasi-static force of up to 1250 N. QCT scans were manipulated to generate a high-order FE bone model with distinct cortical and trabecular regions having inhomogeneous isotropic elastic properties with Young's modulus represented by continuous spatial functions. Sensitivity analyses were performed to quantify parameters that mostly influence the mechanical response. FE results were compared to displacements and strains measured in the experiments. Results: Young moduli correlated to QCT Hounsfield Units by relations in Keyak and Falkinstein [2003. Comparison of in situ and in vitro CT scan-based finite element model predictions of proximal femoral fracture load. Medical Engineering and Physics 25, 781-787.] were found to provide predictions that match the experimental results closely. Excellent agreement was found for both the displacements and strains. The presented study demonstrates that reliable and validated high-order patient-specific FE simulations of human femurs based on QCT data are achievable for clinical computer-aided decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3688-3699
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2007


  • Bone biomechanics
  • Computed tomography
  • Finite element analysis
  • Proximal femur
  • p-FEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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