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Finite element model creation and stability considerations of complex biological articulation : the human wrist joint

Gislason, M.K. and Stansfield, B.W. and Nash, D.H. (2010) Finite element model creation and stability considerations of complex biological articulation : the human wrist joint. Medical Physics, 32 (5). pp. 523-531. ISSN 0094-2405

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Abstract

The finite element method has been used with considerable success to simulate the behaviour of various joints such as the hip, knee and shoulder. It has had less impact on more complicated joints such as the wrist and the ankle. Previously published finite element studies on these multi bone joints have needed to introduce un-physiological boundary conditions in order to establish numerical convergence of the model simulation. That is necessary since the stabilising soft tissue mechanism of these joints is usually too elaborate in order to be fully included both anatomically and with regards to material properties. This paper looks at the methodology of creating a finite element model of such a joint focussing on the wrist and the effects additional constraining has on the solution of the model. The study shows that by investigating the effects each of the constraints, a better understanding on the nature of the stabilizing mechanisms of these joints can be achieved.