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Development And Validation Of A Three-Dimensional Finite Element Model Of The Pelvic Bone

M. Dalstra, R. Huiskes, L. van Erning

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Due to both its shape and its structural architecture, the mechanics of the pelvic bone are complex. In Finite Element (FE) models, these aspects have often been (over) simplified, sometimes leading to conclusions which did not bear out in reality. The purpose of this study was to develop a more realistic FE model of the pelvic bone. This not only implies that the model has to be three-dimensional, but also that the thickness of the cortical shell and the density distribution of the trabecular bone throughout the pelvic bone have to be incorporated in the model in a realistic way. For this purpose, quantitative measurements were performed on computer tomography scans of several pelvic bones, after which the measured quantities were allocated to each element of the mesh individually. To validate this FE model, two fresh pelvic bones were fitted with strain gages and loaded in a testing machine. Stresses calculated from the strain data of this experiment were compared to the results of a simulation with the developed pelvic FE model.