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Bone Remodeling of Human Tibial Head During Walking

This was a research from the course of Optimization in Biomechanical Engineering during my first year of the master degree in the department of biomedical engineering at National Taiwan University. The purpose of this study was to simulate the human tibial head bone remodeling during level walking by finite element analysis and optimum methods.


Loosening of the artificial knee joint loosening is one of the problems for revision of total knee replacement surgery. According to the Wolff’s law, the density of bones will change according to the stimulation of muscles or tendons. Therefore, loads produced at the bone during human activity can induce bone remodeling which may finally result in loosening of artificial knee joint loosening. The purpose of the current research was to simulate the bone remodeling of the human tibial head during walking by optimizing the bone density of a 2-D finite elements (FE) tibial head model.

Materials and Methods

Finite Element Model

The 2-D finite element model was created from computed tomography (CT) imagines, with the initial density of bone was homogeneous and the result was drawn by grayscale(Fig. 1).

Figure 1. From 3-D to 2-D Finite Element Model of Tibial Head

Optimum Process


The total optimum process is about 20 minutes. I transformed the final element properties into bone density and using grey-level to represent the bone density high or low on the 2-D model. The results of this research(Video below) show that the density is higher below the cartilage, so if the cartilage becomes thinner, the stress distribution by cartilage may weaken, and the contact point of tibia bone’s density will be even higher. Based on this study, the finite element method is together with bone remodeling simulation and become a useful method for designing the prostheses and realizing the phenomenon of bone remodeling.

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