Comput Methods Programs Biomed - External fixator configurations in tibia fractures: 1D optimization and 3D analysis comparison.


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The use of external fixation devices in orthopedic surgery is very common in open tibial fractures. A properly applied fixator may improve the healing process while one improperly applied might delay the healing process. The several external fixator systems used in clinical today, can be categorized into uniplanar-unilateral, uniplanar-bilateral, biplanar and multiplanar. The stability on the fracture focus and, therefore, the fracture healing process, is related with the type of external fixator configuration that is selected. The aim of this study is to discuss the principles for the successful application of unilateral-uniplanar external fixation, the assembly of its components, for the case of a transverse fractures using computational models. In this context, the fixation stiffness characteristics are evaluated using a simplified 1D finite element model for the tibia and external fixator. The beams are modeled with realistic cross-sectional geometry and material properties instead of a simplified model. The VABS (the Variational Asymptotic Beam Section analysis) methodology is used to compute the cross-sectional model for the generalized Timoshenko model, which was embedded in the finite element solver FEAP. The use of Timoshenko beam theory allows accounting for several kinds of loads, including torsion moments. Optimal design is performed with respect to the assembly of fixator components using a genetic algorithm. The optimization procedure is based on the evaluation of an objective function, which is dependent on the displacement at the fracture focus. The initial and optimal results are compared by performing a 3D analysis, for which different three-dimensional finite element models are created. The geometrical model of a tibia is created on the basis of data acquired by CAT scan, made for a healthy tibia of a 22 year old male. The 3D comparison of the 1D optimal results show a clear improvement on the objective function for the several load cases and, therefore, it is shown that appropriate selection of the external fixator geometrical features can lead to an improvement on the stability of the external fixator. The results obtained show that the optimal position of the side beam and the first pin should be as close as possible to the bone interface and as close as possible to the fracture focus, respectively. Concerning the second pin, it should be placed away from the first pin in case of flexion loads, to axial and torsion loads the second pin should be placed near the first pin.

Resumo Limpo

use extern fixat devic orthoped surgeri common open tibial fractur proper appli fixat may improv heal process one improp appli might delay heal process sever extern fixat system use clinic today can categor uniplanarunilater uniplanarbilater biplanar multiplanar stabil fractur focus therefor fractur heal process relat type extern fixat configur select aim studi discuss principl success applic unilateraluniplanar extern fixat assembl compon case transvers fractur use comput model context fixat stiff characterist evalu use simplifi d finit element model tibia extern fixat beam model realist crosssect geometri materi properti instead simplifi model vab variat asymptot beam section analysi methodolog use comput crosssect model general timoshenko model embed finit element solver feap use timoshenko beam theori allow account sever kind load includ torsion moment optim design perform respect assembl fixat compon use genet algorithm optim procedur base evalu object function depend displac fractur focus initi optim result compar perform d analysi differ threedimension finit element model creat geometr model tibia creat basi data acquir cat scan made healthi tibia year old male d comparison d optim result show clear improv object function sever load case therefor shown appropri select extern fixat geometr featur can lead improv stabil extern fixat result obtain show optim posit side beam first pin close possibl bone interfac close possibl fractur focus respect concern second pin place away first pin case flexion load axial torsion load second pin place near first pin

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