The application of an isotropic crushable foam model to predict the femoral fracture risk

PLoS One. 2023 Jul 27;18(7):e0288776. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288776. eCollection 2023.


For biomechanical simulations of orthopaedic interventions, it is imperative to implement a material model that can realistically reproduce the nonlinear behavior of the bone structure. However, a proper material model that adequately combines the trabecular and cortical bone response is not yet widely identified. The current paper aims to investigate the possibility of using an isotropic crushable foam (ICF) model dependent on local bone mineral density (BMD) for simulating the femoral fracture risk. The elastoplastic properties of fifty-nine human femoral trabecular cadaveric bone samples were determined and combined with existing cortical bone properties to characterize two forms of the ICF model, a continuous and discontinuous model. Subsequently, the appropriateness of this combined material model was evaluated by simulating femoral fracture experiments, and a comparison with earlier published results of a softening Von-Mises (sVM) material model was made. The obtained mechanical properties of the trabecular bone specimens were comparable to previous findings. Furthermore, the ultimate failure load predicted by the simulations of femoral fractures was on average 79% and 90% for the continuous and discontinuous forms of the ICF model and 82% of the experimental value for the sVM material model. Also, the fracture locations predicted by ICF models were comparable to the experiments. In conclusion, a nonlinear material model dependent on BMD was characterized for human femoral bone. Our findings indicate that the ICF model could predict the femoral bone strength and reproduce the variable fracture locations in the experiments.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone and Bones
  • Femoral Fractures*
  • Femur* / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur* / physiology
  • Humans

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.