The stiffness of the external fixation highly influences the fracture healing pattern. In this work we study this aspect by means of a finite element model of a simple transverse mid-diaphyseal fracture of an ovine metatarsus fixed with a bilateral external fixator. In order to simulate the regenerative process, a previously developed mechanobiological model of bone fracture healing was implemented in three dimensions. This model is able to simulate tissue differentiation, bone regeneration, and callus growth. A physiological load of was applied and three different stiffnesses of the external fixator were simulated (2300, 1725, and ). The interfragmentary strain and load sharing mechanism between bone and the external fixator were compared to those recorded in previous experimental works. The effects of the stiffness on the callus shape and tissue distributions in the fracture site were also analyzed. We predicted that a lower stiffness of the fixator delays fracture healing and causes a larger callus, in correspondence to well-documented clinical observations.
A 3D Computational Simulation of Fracture Callus Formation: Influence of the Stiffness of the External Fixator
Gómez-Benito, M. J., García-Aznar, J. M., Kuiper, J. H., and Doblaré, M. (November 9, 2005). "A 3D Computational Simulation of Fracture Callus Formation: Influence of the Stiffness of the External Fixator." ASME. J Biomech Eng. June 2006; 128(3): 290–299. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2187045
Download citation file: