Hip joint load prediction using inverse bone remodeling with homogenized FE models: Comparison to micro-FE and influence of material modeling strategy

Sebastian Bachmann, Dieter H Pahr, Alexander Synek

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Background and objective: Measuring physiological loading conditions in vivo can be challenging, as methods are invasive or pose a high modeling effort. However, the physiological loading of bones is also imprinted in the bone microstructure due to bone (re)modeling. This information can be retrieved by inverse bone remodeling (IBR). Recently, an IBR method based on micro-finite-element (µFE) modeling was translated to homogenized-FE (hFE) to decrease computational effort and tested on the distal radius. However, this bone has a relatively simple geometry and homogeneous microstructure. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the agreement of hFE-based IBR with µFE-based IBR to predict hip joint loading from the head of the femur; a bone with more complex loading as well as more heterogeneous microstructure. Methods: hFE-based IBR was applied to a set of 19 femoral heads using four different material mapping laws. One model with a single homogeneous material for both trabecular and cortical volume and three models with a separated cortex and either homogeneous, density-dependent inhomogeneous, or density and fabric-dependent orthotropic material. Three different evaluation regions (full bone, trabecular bone only, head region only) were defined, in which IBR was applied. µFE models were created for the same bones, and the agreement of the predicted hip joint loading history obtained from hFE and µFE models was evaluated. The loading history was discretized using four unit load cases. Results: The computational time for FE solving was decreased on average from 500 h to under 1 min (CPU time) when using hFE models instead of µFE models. Using more information in the material model in the hFE models led to a better prediction of hip joint loading history. Inhomogeneous and inhomogeneous orthotropic models gave the best agreement to µFE-based IBR (RMSE% <14%). The evaluation region only played a minor role. Conclusions: hFE-based IBR was able to reconstruct the dominant joint loading of the femoral head in agreement with µFE-based IBR and required considerably lower computational effort. Results indicate that cortical and trabecular bone should be modeled separately and at least density-dependent inhomogeneous material properties should be used with hFE models of the femoral head to predict joint loading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107549
Pages (from-to)107549
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Early online date13 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Bone adaptation
  • Homogenized finite-element
  • Inverse remodeling
  • Loading estimation
  • Loading history
  • Micro finite-element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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