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The University of Southampton

Research project: Assessment of ankle arthrodesis with internal fixation using finite element analysis

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Ankle arthrodesis has been widely used for painful and disabling ankle diseases which do not respond to conservative treatment. However, cases of fusion failure are sometimes reported. Initial stability at the fusion site is believed to be one of the main factors affecting subsequent failure. This project applied finite element methods to develop a comparative tool for assessing the initial stability of ankle fusion using screw fixation.

FE models using medical imaging were developed and subjected to typical postoperative loading conditions. Both normal and poor-quality bone were simulated. The initial stability was assessed by measuring micromotions between the tibia and the talus at the fusion site, as well as assessing the strain distributions. Using these models, it was possible to compare different approaches to surgery (screw insertion angles, number of screws, etc), in line with clinical findings.

Assesment of ankle arthrodesis
Assessment of ankle arthrodesis

Related research groups

Bioengineering Science
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