You are on page 1of 12


Sean Beverung
Ariege Bizanti
University of Central Florida


The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the human body. It supports the body’s
entire weight. Accordingly, femoral fracture stresses – which result from high energy
injuries like those resulting from soccer or basketball or running- can potentially lead to
whole body complications. These fracture stresses are difficult to diagnose due to
difficulty ascertaining stress location, yet accurate treatments are critical to restoring
overall health. Therefore, determining the load accumulation on the femur bone can
enable us to predict femur’s (or a prosthesis) malleability points and its possible fracture
points. Thereupon, our primary objective is to use a computational model to predict
accurate stress distribution in a femur. Furthermore, we would like to compare stress
distribution in a femur prosthesis model by changing key mechanical properties such as
Young’s modulus and Poisson's ratio. Specifically, our aim in this project is to apply the
finite element method to identify the femur bone stress distribution using Abaqus
software. Specifically, a CT scanned 3D model will be converted to several polygons
that will allow it to be converted to be manageable form for analysis and then imported
to Abaqus for analysis. Additionally, we aim to compare the stress distribution between
a natural femur bone and one made of prosthetic material to observe the effect of
material properties of the prosthetic femur, and how they differ from the natural femur. It
is hypothesized that the prosthesis will produce a point of maximum stress at the
location of where the prosthesis meets the bone.


The femur bone is the longest bone in body that plays a vital role in supporting the
weight of the body and the mechanics of body motion. A damage to the femur bone due
to arthritis, fracture, trauma or other conditions can affect a person ability to ambulate
normally, and may cause pain that can limit basic daily activities. The whole hip joint
can be affected with a damage to the femur bone, and a total hip replacement
procedure is one of the most safe operations performed to restore mobility. This
procedure include an insertion of a stem implant to replace the damaged part of the
femur bone. The anatomy of the femur and hip joint can be seen in figure [1a] below
and the implant used in THR as it fits the hip is shown in figure [1b]. There are a large
number of materials and designs that were used throughout the time for stem implant

Figure 1 : [a] on the left anatomical illustration of hip joint, [b] stem implant and its fitting in hip joint [1]

It is essential to ensure the safe designing of implant and compatibility of human body.
This can be done by using the concept of biomechanics to investigate the postoperative
effect of the implant and how it resist stress applied to the bone. Biomechanics is a fast
progressing area of research that combines the engineering methods to analyze
biological concepts. One approach to evaluate implant efficacy is to analyze stress
distribution on a femur model with the implant of study under forces applied to it. Stress
distributions predict potential zones of damage that can direct research for strength
consideration of those points. The current project aims to elaborate the behavior of
human femur bone and implant for different loading conditions. A prerequisite of this
project would be to acquire knowledge of the applied forces in conjunction with the
mechanical properties of the material and internal structure. The stress field induced in
human femur under the action of various forces is determined and the localized
stresses are presented in previous research that we used as a reference [2].
There was a paper done by Priyadarshi et al, [3] that investigated the stress
distribution, strain distributions, deformation patterns of human femur that set the
frequency range to be followed in the designing of implants. It was concluded that too
much strain can lead to fractures that might injure an individual. Therefore, implant
materials should be expected to meet the strain requirement to prevent fractures.
Hence, it can be predicted that If the implant is much stiffer than the bone, then the
implant will bear more of the load. Because the bone is shielded from much of the
stress being applied to the femur, the body will respond to this by increasing osteoclast
activity, causing bone resorption. However, a high difference gap of elasticity between
the normal bone and the implant can cause compatibility issues. For that reason, it is
needed to study the effects of different materials elasticity and its stress and strain
output if used as a stem implant to have a better understanding of which implant
material that represent the best option.

To compare the efficiency of stem implant, we decided to use two of the most
commonly used material for stem implants with different elastic modulus to investigate
the effect of the implant elasticity on the mechanical functionality of the femur bone.
Based on our literature review, cobalt-chrome-molybdenum alloy (CoCrMo) and titanium
alloy are the mostly used stem implant and their properties can be seen table 1 below:

Table 1: material used and corresponding Young’s modulus

Material Elastic Modulus (Young's Poiseuille ratio


CoCrMo 210,000 MPa [4] 0.3

Titanium 110,000 MPa [4] 0.3

Bone 17,000 MPa [5] 0.3

The femur model was obtained from the department of health and human services. The
surface mesh then needed to be simplified. This was performed with Meshlab. In order
to do this Quadric edge collapse was used to reduce the number of polygons the scan
was composed of. This allows for a faster analysis with minimal compromisation of the
model. The model was then converted to a solid object through solidworks and then
exported to Abaqus. A tetrahedral mesh was used for the complex geometry due to the
polygons of the model being triangular based. After the mesh is set the boundary
conditions are set. The condyles of the femur were the knee joint is, are set as a zero
displacement condition. The head of the femur is placed under a load condition of 68
kgf (150 lbf) To represent the force experienced by an average person standing on one
leg. From here the simulation is set to determine displacements and Von Mises
stresses. The mesh is then checked for any deformed elements before running the
Femur stem implants were designed via abaqus by using the approximate geometry
and shape used in previous papers. In figure [2] below, an X-ray of a pt who undergone
total hip replacement [THR] with the corresponding measurement of stem implant was
used as a guide to design the stem implant.
Figure 2: Stem implant geometry approximation in X-ray imaging [6]
Three sets of trials, one with natural unmodified bone material and two with a femur
implant attached to the bone. Special care is taken in distributing the loads among
several nodes to avoid artificial stress concentration. Looking at the three sets of data
gained from the trials the differences between the models can bee seen. Model of the
human femur has a maximum stress of 1.947MPa. The location of the stress is along
the sides of the femur as seen in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Femur Von Mises Stress (MPa)

It is also seen that the maximum displacement is 5.912mm. This maximum

displacement is seen at the furthest point away from the zero displacement boundary
condition as seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Displacement (mm).

A sectional trace across the shaft of the femur at the location of of highest stress shows
a relatively linear v shape distribution of stresses along the surface as seen in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Distribution of Surface Stress across Shaft of Femur (MPa)

When changing the head of the femur for a Titanium artificial replacement the
characteristics of the stress and strain can be seen. When placed the stress shifts to the
anterior and posterior of the bone. This stress shift can be seen in figure 6.

Figure 6: Von Mises Stresses with Head Replacement (MPa).

This shift also lowers the point of were the maximum stress is located towards the
knee. The max stress reaches 42.11 MPa. The deformation that the head of the femur
receives due to this stress is 7.440 but this may be partly due to the distal focus of
stress. This can be seen in figure 7.

Figure 7: Displacement with Head Replacement (mm).

The stress profile is very similar how however to the standard femur. However the
peaks of the v profile are greater due to the the larger amount of stress as seen in figure

Figure 8: Stress Profile Across Femur Shaft With Head Replacement (MPa).

When switching materials to CoCrMo, the characteristic of the max stress and strain do
not change appreciably. This is probably due to the similarities in the hardness of the
material and that the main stresses are being focused much further down. It also leads
to the conclusion that the majority of the stress change could be due to the minor
change in geometry that the artificial head causes. The differences in the max stresses
and displacements can be seen in table 2.
Table 2: Maximum Strain and Displacement

Trial Bone Titanium CoCrMo

Max Von Mises 19.47 42.11 42.11

Stress (MPa)

Maximum 5.912 7.440 7.440

Displacement (mm)

The values found seem to be in the correct range of stress values experience by an
individuals. With the force involved the maximum stress values and displacements
seem reasonable when compared to other studies [7].
Discussion and Conclusion:

The results of the stress strain analisis did show an increase in stress experienced by
an individual it was not in the aria that was expected at the point of attachment. This is
most likely due to the adhesion of the head to the bone being perfect for the model.
This situation would not exist and there would be small focal stress hot spots that occur.
Other than this the model does show how changes in the presented by the femur head
replacement can cause and might be a useful tool in the future to better shape the
prosthesis to minimise the stress concentration as it is seen that the prosthesis
increases the amount of stress that the femur experiences by 216%. The model does
also show that materials of similar stiffness have little difference on how they transfer
stresses to the rest of the bone under ideal conditions. This might change however as
materials could have other considerations such as general machinability, wear, cost,
and biocompatibility. Other improvements to the model for future studies could include
the use of cyclic loading and the consideration of a loose boundary between the implant
and the rest of the femur.

[1] Our knowledge of orthopaedics. Your best health. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[2] E.E. Gdoutosa, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece A critical review of the
biomechanical stress analysis of the human femur
[3] Priyadarshi Biplab Kumar, Dayal R. Parhi, (2017) "Vibrational characterization of a human
femur bone and its significance in the designing of artificial implants", World Journal of
Engineering, Vol. 14 Issue: 3, pp.222-226,
[4] Weinans, H., Huiskes, R., & Grootenboer, H. J. (1992). Effects of material properties of
femoral hip components on bone remodeling. Journal of Orthopaedic Research,10(6), 845-853.
[5] Kim C., Yoo O.S., Lee Y.S., and Lee M.C. EVALUATION OF ANATOMICALLY
Proceedings 2017 99-B:SUPP_6, 113-113
[6] Pt. with c/o consistent pain in the left hip. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[7] Reddy, M. V., Ganesh, B., & Bharathi, K. (2016). Use of Finite Element Analysis to Predict
Type of Bone Fractures and Fracture Risks in Femur due to Osteoporosis. Journal of
Osteoporosis and Physical Activity,4(3). doi:10.4172/2329-9509.1000180