3D finite element simulation of human proximal femoral fracture under quasi-static load

  • Received : 2012.06.14
  • Accepted : 2013.02.13
  • Published : 2013.03.25


In this paper, a simple and accurate finite element model coupled to quasi-brittle damage law able to describe the multiple cracks initiation and their progressive propagation is developed in order to predict the complete force-displacement curve and the fracture pattern of human proximal femur under quasi-static load. The motivation of this work was to propose a simple and practical FE model with a good compromise between complexity and accuracy of the simulation considering a limited number of model parameters that can predict proximal femur fracture more accurately and physically than the fracture criteria based models. Different damage laws for cortical and trabecular bone are proposed based on experimental results to describe the inelastic damage accumulation under the excessive load. When the damage parameter reaches its critical value inside an element of the mesh, its stiffness matrix is set to zero leading to the redistribution of the stress state in the vicinity of the fractured zone (crack initiation). Once a crack is initiated, the propagation direction is simulated by the propagation of the broken elements of the mesh. To illustrate the potential of the proposed approach, the left femur of a male (age 61) previously investigated by Keyak and Falkinstein, 2003 (Model B: male, age 61) was simulated till complete fracture under one-legged stance quasi-static load. The proposed finite element model leads to more realistic and precise results concerning the shape of the force-displacement curve (yielding and fracturing) and the profile of the fractured edge.



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