Validated finite element models of the proximal femur using two-dimensional projected geometry and bone density

Jorn Op Den Buijs, Dan Dragomir-Daescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional finite element models of cadaveric femoral stiffness were developed to study their suitability as surrogates of bone stiffness and strength, using two-dimensional representations of femoral geometry and bone mineral density distributions. If successfully validated, such methods could be clinically applied to estimate patient bone stiffness and strength using simpler and less costly radiographs. Two-dimensional femur images were derived by projection of quantitative computed tomography scans of 22 human cadaveric femurs. The same femurs were fractured in a fall on the hip configuration. Femoral stiffness and fracture load were measured, and high speed video was recorded. Digital image correlation analysis was used to calculate the strain distribution from the high speed video recordings. Two-dimensional projection images were segmented and meshed with second-order triangular elements for finite element analysis. Elastic moduli of the finite elements were calculated based on the projected mineral density values inside the elements. The mapping of projection density values to elastic modulus was obtained using optimal parameter identification in a set of nine of the 22 specimens, and validated on the remaining 13 specimens. Finite element calculated proximal stiffness and strength correlated much better with experimental data than areal bone mineral density alone. In addition, finite element calculated strain distributions compared very well with strains obtained from digital image processing of the high speed video recordings, further validating the two-dimensional projected subject-specific finite element models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Bone FEA
  • Digital image correlation
  • Optimization
  • Plane stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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