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Title: External fixator configurations in tibia fractures: 1D optimization and 3D analysis comparison
Authors: Roseiro, Luis M. 
Neto, M. Augusta 
Amaro, Ana 
Leal, Rogerio P. 
Samarra, Miguel C. 
Keywords: Optimization; Fracture tibia; Finite element method; External fixator; 3D analysis
Issue Date: Jan-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: ROSEIRO, Luis M. [et. al] - External fixator configurations in tibia fractures: 1D optimization and 3D analysis comparison. "Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine". ISSN 0169-2607. Vol. 113 Nº. 1 (2014) p. 360-370
Serial title, monograph or event: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Volume: 113
Issue: 1
Abstract: 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.
ISSN: 0169-2607
DOI: 10.1016/j.cmpb.2013.09.018
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Eng.Mecânica - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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