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Generic Rules of Mechano-Regulation Combined with Subject Specific Loading Conditions Can Explain Bone Adaptation after THA
Published: Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Author: Tomasz D. Szwedowski et al.

by Tomasz D. Szwedowski, William R. Taylor, Markus O. Heller, Carsten Perka, Michael Müller, Georg N. Duda

Bone adaptation after total hip arthroplasty is associated with the change in internal load environment, and can result in compromised bone stock, which presents a considerable challenge should a revision procedure be required. Under the assumption of a generic mechano-regulatory algorithm for governing bone adaptation, the aim of this study was to understand the contribution of subject specific loading conditions towards explaining the local periprosthetic remodelling variations in patients. CT scans of 3 consecutive THA patients were obtained and used for the construction of subject specific finite element models using verified musculoskeletal loading and physiological boundary conditions. Using either strain energy density or equivalent strain as mechano-transduction signals, predictions of bone adaptation were compared to DEXA derived BMD changes from 7 days to 12 months post-implantation. Individual changes in BMD of up to 33.6% were observed within the 12 month follow-up period, together with considerable inter-patient variability of up to 26%. Estimates of bone adaptation using equivalent strain and balanced loading conditions led to the best agreement with in vivo measured BMD, with RMS errors of only 3.9%, 7.3% and 7.3% for the individual subjects, compared to errors of over 10% when the loading conditions were simplified. This study provides evidence that subject specific loading conditions and physiological boundary constraints are essential for explaining inter-patient variations in bone adaptation patterns. This improved knowledge of the rules governing the adaptation of bone following THA helps towards understanding the interplay between mechanics and biology for better identifying patients at risk of excessive or problematic periprosthetic bone atrophy.