e-ISSN 2329-0072




Biomechanical Principles Used in Finite Element Analysis for Proximal Humeral Fractures with Locking Plates

Ismael Mendoza-Muñoz, Álvaro González-Ángeles, Miriam Siqueiros-Hernández, Mildrend Montoya-Reyes

Faculty of Engineering, Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico

Med Sci Tech 2017; 58:128-136

DOI: 10.12659/MST.907350

Available online: 2017-12-08

Published: 2017-12-08


ABSTRACT: The principal goal of biomechanical finite element analysis (FEA) modeling research is to represent the geometry of a study in as real a form as possible. However, this type of simulation is not easy, considering the complexity of the human body and all the biological factors involved; therefore, it is common to use a discretization of the FEA model. The development of this discretization includes establishment of the main parameters and assumptions from research studies to simplify the task, and thus requiring lower computing time. For example, some researchers have suggested the use of loads for “falling on an outstretch arm”, to simplify the load estimation in the study of a shoulder even when the existing compilation of data presents different load values according a specific activity. A similar issue involves studies that propose a single element to represent cortical and trabecular bones with constant Young´s modulus. These approaches could obtain results overly conservatives because the mechanical properties of the bone are attributed to the density that changes along it. Therefore, this type of information needs to be analyzed carefully in order to best represent the scenario that the investigator wants to study.
We performed a non-systematic literature review.
This article describes the considerations of FEA studies with a focus on solid mechanics of proximal humeral fractures with locking plates.
The use of parameters and assumptions found in our literature review provide overly conservative results. However, these results might be acceptable when the study is focused on making comparisons between plates or other clinical devices used in bone fractures.

Keywords: Biocompatible Materials, Bone and Bones, Finite Element Analysis, Fracture Fixation, Internal Fixators