5 years ago

Experimental validation of finite element predicted bone strain in the human metatarsal

Metatarsal stress fracture is a common injury observed in athletes and military personnel. Mechanical fatigue is believed to play an important role in the etiology of stress fracture, which is highly dependent on the resulting bone strain from the applied load. The purpose of this study was to validate a subject-specific finite element (FE) modeling routine for bone strain prediction in the human metatarsal. Strain gauge measurements were performed on 33 metatarsals from seven human cadaveric feet subject to cantilever bending, and subject-specific FE models were generated from computed tomography images. Material properties for the FE models were assigned using a published density-modulus relationship as well as density-modulus relationships developed from optimization techniques. The optimized relationships were developed with a ‘training set’ of metatarsals (n=17) and cross-validated with a ‘test set’ (n=16). The published and optimized density elasticity equations provided FE-predicted strains that were highly correlated with experimental measurements for both the training (r2 0.95) and test (r2 0.94) sets; however, the optimized equations reduced the maximum error by 10% to 20% relative to the published equation, and resulted in an X=Y type of relationship between experimental measurements and FE predictions. Using a separate optimized density-modulus equation for trabecular and cortical bone did not improve strain predictions when compared to a single equation that spanned the entire bone density range. We believe that the FE models with optimized material property assignment have a level of accuracy necessary to investigate potential interventions to minimize metatarsal strain in an effort to prevent the occurrence of stress fracture.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S002192901730307X

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