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Subject-specific models of the hindfoot reveal a relationship between morphology and passive mechanical properties.


ABSTRACT: The morphology of the bones, articular surfaces and ligaments and the passive mechanical characteristics of the ankle complex were reported to vary greatly among individuals. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that the variations observed in the passive mechanical properties of the healthy ankle complex are strongly influenced by morphological variations. To evaluate this hypothesis six numerical models of the ankle joint complex were developed from morphological data obtained from MRI of six cadaveric lower limbs, and from average reported data on the mechanical properties of ligaments and articular cartilage. The passive mechanical behavior of each model, under a variety of loading conditions, was found to closely match the experimental data obtained from each corresponding specimen. Since all models used identical material properties and were subjected to identical loads and boundary conditions, it was concluded that the observed variations in passive mechanical characteristics were due to variations in morphology, thus confirming the hypothesis. In addition, the average and large variations in passive mechanical behavior observed between the models were similar to those observed experimentally between cadaveric specimens. The results suggest that individualized subject-specific treatment procedures for ankle complex disorders are potentially superior to a one-size-fits-all approach.

SUBMITTER: Imhauser CW 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2601557 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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