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J Biomech. 2005 Dec;38(12):2440-50. Epub 2005 Jan 6.

Trabecular bone fracture healing simulation with finite element analysis and fuzzy logic.

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Institute for Orthopaedics and Biomechanics, Helmholtzstrasse 14, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


Trabecular bone fractures heal through intramembraneous ossification. This process differs from diaphyseal fracture healing in that the trabecular marrow provides a rich vascular supply to the healing bone, there is very little callus formation, woven bone forms directly without a cartilage intermediary, and the woven bone is remodelled to form trabecular bone. Previous studies have used numerical methods to simulate diaphyseal fracture healing or bone remodelling, however not trabecular fracture healing, which involves both tissue differentiation and trabecular formation. The objective of this study was to determine if intramembraneous bone formation and remodelling during trabecular bone fracture healing could be simulated using the same mechanobiological principles as those proposed for diaphyseal fracture healing. Using finite element analysis and the fuzzy logic for diaphyseal healing, the model simulated formation of woven bone in the fracture gap and subsequent remodelling of the bone to form trabecular bone. We also demonstrated that the trabecular structure is dependent on the applied loading conditions. A single model that can simulate bone healing and remodelling may prove to be a useful tool in predicting musculoskeletal tissue differentiation in different vascular and mechanical environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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