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Subject-specific analysis of joint contact mechanics: application to the study of osteoarthritis and surgical planning

Corinne R Henak, Andrew E Anderson, Jeffrey A Weiss
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 2013, 135 (2): 021003
23445048
Advances in computational mechanics, constitutive modeling, and techniques for subject-specific modeling have opened the door to patient-specific simulation of the relationships between joint mechanics and osteoarthritis (OA), as well as patient-specific preoperative planning. This article reviews the application of computational biomechanics to the simulation of joint contact mechanics as relevant to the study of OA. This review begins with background regarding OA and the mechanical causes of OA in the context of simulations of joint mechanics. The broad range of technical considerations in creating validated subject-specific whole joint models is discussed. The types of computational models available for the study of joint mechanics are reviewed. The types of constitutive models that are available for articular cartilage are reviewed, with special attention to choosing an appropriate constitutive model for the application at hand. Issues related to model generation are discussed, including acquisition of model geometry from volumetric image data and specific considerations for acquisition of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging data. Approaches to model validation are reviewed. The areas of parametric analysis, factorial design, and probabilistic analysis are reviewed in the context of simulations of joint contact mechanics. Following the review of technical considerations, the article details insights that have been obtained from computational models of joint mechanics for normal joints; patient populations; the study of specific aspects of joint mechanics relevant to OA, such as congruency and instability; and preoperative planning. Finally, future directions for research and application are summarized.

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