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European Society of Biomechanics S.M. Perren Award 2014: Safety factor of the proximal femur during gait: A population-based finite element study.

European Society of Biomechanics S.M. Perren Award 2014: Safety factor of the proximal femur during gait: A population-based finite element study.
European Society of Biomechanics S.M. Perren Award 2014: Safety factor of the proximal femur during gait: A population-based finite element study.
It has been suggested that the mechanical competence of the proximal femur is preserved with respect to physiological loading conditions rather than accidental overloading, but the consequences of this adaptation for fracture risk in the elderly remain unclear. The goal of the present study was to analyse the safety factor of the human femur in the two most frequent daily activities, level walking and stair climbing, and to understand the dependence, if any, of this safety factor on age, volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), and gender. To this aim, a finite element study was performed on 200 subjects (116 women and 84 men), spanning a large range of age (23-84 years) and vBMD levels (T-score from 0 to -3.59). For the first time, finite element models that included a subject-specific description of the anatomy and mineral density distribution of each bone were coupled with a personalisation of the loads acting on the proximal femur during movement, including the action of the muscles and their variability across the population. The results demonstrate that the human proximal femur is characterised by a high safety factor (on average five, never reaching fracture threshold), even in the presence of advanced age and low mineral content. These results corroborate the hypothesis that the relationship between loading and mechanical competence is generally preserved in the elderly population for the most frequent motor activities, walking and stair climbing. Interestingly, a decrease of the safety factor was observed with increasing lifespan and reduced mineral content in women but not in men.
biomechanics, bone strength, finite-element analysis, proximal femur, skeletal loading
0021-9290
3433-3440
Taddei, F.
9f07e89d-30f8-436e-863b-282d93cf0eff
Palmadori, I.
d08fea7b-a44d-4a58-995b-ae360d408405
Taylor, W.R.
4f1cd2b0-4963-4b10-bbde-da586c069e77
Heller, M.O.
3da19d2a-f34d-4ff1-8a34-9b5a7e695829
Bordini, B.
6f705193-9663-4ed5-a24c-27b05cdde5d1
Toni, A.
e8962126-b41b-4c8e-abe2-c6fa10892090
Schileo, E.
755ca82f-1ef4-4f71-96ef-43d7f66c6232
Taddei, F.
9f07e89d-30f8-436e-863b-282d93cf0eff
Palmadori, I.
d08fea7b-a44d-4a58-995b-ae360d408405
Taylor, W.R.
4f1cd2b0-4963-4b10-bbde-da586c069e77
Heller, M.O.
3da19d2a-f34d-4ff1-8a34-9b5a7e695829
Bordini, B.
6f705193-9663-4ed5-a24c-27b05cdde5d1
Toni, A.
e8962126-b41b-4c8e-abe2-c6fa10892090
Schileo, E.
755ca82f-1ef4-4f71-96ef-43d7f66c6232

Taddei, F., Palmadori, I., Taylor, W.R., Heller, M.O., Bordini, B., Toni, A. and Schileo, E. (2014) European Society of Biomechanics S.M. Perren Award 2014: Safety factor of the proximal femur during gait: A population-based finite element study. Journal of Biomechanics, 47 (17), 3433-3440. (doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2014.08.030). (PMID:25280759)

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has been suggested that the mechanical competence of the proximal femur is preserved with respect to physiological loading conditions rather than accidental overloading, but the consequences of this adaptation for fracture risk in the elderly remain unclear. The goal of the present study was to analyse the safety factor of the human femur in the two most frequent daily activities, level walking and stair climbing, and to understand the dependence, if any, of this safety factor on age, volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), and gender. To this aim, a finite element study was performed on 200 subjects (116 women and 84 men), spanning a large range of age (23-84 years) and vBMD levels (T-score from 0 to -3.59). For the first time, finite element models that included a subject-specific description of the anatomy and mineral density distribution of each bone were coupled with a personalisation of the loads acting on the proximal femur during movement, including the action of the muscles and their variability across the population. The results demonstrate that the human proximal femur is characterised by a high safety factor (on average five, never reaching fracture threshold), even in the presence of advanced age and low mineral content. These results corroborate the hypothesis that the relationship between loading and mechanical competence is generally preserved in the elderly population for the most frequent motor activities, walking and stair climbing. Interestingly, a decrease of the safety factor was observed with increasing lifespan and reduced mineral content in women but not in men.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 August 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 September 2014
Published date: 7 November 2014
Keywords: biomechanics, bone strength, finite-element analysis, proximal femur, skeletal loading
Organisations: Bioengineering Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 373774
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/373774
ISSN: 0021-9290
PURE UUID: 96c396c4-2caf-4185-bd5f-f9aa55347c34
ORCID for M.O. Heller: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7879-1135

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Date deposited: 28 Jan 2015 10:18
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:19

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Contributors

Author: F. Taddei
Author: I. Palmadori
Author: W.R. Taylor
Author: M.O. Heller ORCID iD
Author: B. Bordini
Author: A. Toni
Author: E. Schileo

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