Plausibility and parameter sensitivity of micro-finite element-based joint load prediction at the proximal femur

Alexander Synek*, Dieter H. Pahr

*Corresponding author for this work

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


A micro-finite element-based method to estimate the bone loading history based on bone architecture was recently presented in the literature. However, a thorough investigation of the parameter sensitivity and plausibility of this method to predict joint loads is still missing. The goals of this study were (1) to analyse the parameter sensitivity of the joint load predictions at one proximal femur and (2) to assess the plausibility of the results by comparing load predictions of ten proximal femora to in vivo hip joint forces measured with instrumented prostheses (available from Joint loads were predicted by optimally scaling the magnitude of four unit loads (inclined - 20 to 100 with respect to the vertical axis) applied to micro-finite element models created from high-resolution computed tomography scans (30.3μm voxel size). Parameter sensitivity analysis was performed by varying a total of nine parameters and showed that predictions of the peak load directions (range 10–30 ) are more robust than the predicted peak load magnitudes (range 2344.8–4689.5 N). Comparing the results of all ten femora with the in vivo loading data of ten subjects showed that peak loads are plausible both in terms of the load direction (in vivo: 18.2 ± 2. 0 , predicted: 20. 0 ) and magnitude (in vivo: 2707.6±443.3N, predicted: 3372.2±597.9N). Overall, this study suggests that micro-finite element-based joint load predictions are both plausible and robust in terms of the predicted peak load direction, but predicted load magnitudes should be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-852
Number of pages10
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Femur
  • Inverse remodelling
  • Load estimation
  • Micro-finite element
  • Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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