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During the last decades human femur fracture has been mainly analysed using an experimental approach focused on cadaveric or synthetic bones. Nowadays, advances in computational technologies allow using numerical methods, such as the finite element method for femur fracture analysis. However, fracture morphology has been scarcely studied using numerical methods despite the interest of this study due to the different clinical treatment required for each fracture type. In this work, different fracture modelling techniques have been analysed with the objective of predicting a realistic fracture path, which in the literature is often limited to the initial steps of fracture. The main goal of this article is to compare different numerical approaches and to provide a robust methodology for femur fracture simulation. Experimental work was carried out on a synthetic femur in order to validate the numerical models. Through this validation we verified that some numerical methods present convergence problems, and they are not useful to model long crack paths. The best results are obtained by simulating the crack growth by a local material property degradation applied through successive analyses. This technique has been applied to a real human femur, obtaining accurate results in fracture morphology prediction.
femur fracture; finite element analysis; numerical modelling techniques; numerical prediction of fracture