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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 9403821, 11 pages
Research Article

Development of a Patient-Specific Finite Element Model for Predicting Implant Failure in Pelvic Ring Fracture Fixation

1Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, 70 Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand
2Menzies Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
3Department of Trauma, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Leipzig, Liebigstr. 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
4Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Jörg Böhme; ed.gizpiel-inu.nizidem@emheob.greoj

Received 15 September 2016; Revised 30 December 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 1 February 2017

Academic Editor: Kazuhisa Nishizawa

Copyright © 2017 Vickie Shim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The main purpose of this study is to develop an efficient technique for generating FE models of pelvic ring fractures that is capable of predicting possible failure regions of osteosynthesis with acceptable accuracy. Methods. Patient-specific FE models of two patients with osteoporotic pelvic fractures were generated. A validated FE model of an uninjured pelvis from our previous study was used as a master model. Then, fracture morphologies and implant positions defined by a trauma surgeon in the preoperative CT were manually introduced as 3D splines to the master model. Four loading cases were used as boundary conditions. Regions of high stresses in the models were compared with actual locations of implant breakages and loosening identified from follow-up X-rays. Results. Model predictions and the actual clinical outcomes matched well. For Patient A, zones of increased tension and maximum stress coincided well with the actual locations of implant loosening. For Patient B, the model predicted accurately the loosening of the implant in the anterior region. Conclusion. Since a significant reduction in time and labour was achieved in our mesh generation technique, it can be considered as a viable option to be implemented as a part of the clinical routine to aid presurgical planning and postsurgical management of pelvic ring fracture patients.