An improved understanding of the stress distribution in and around the hip joint may provide important information regarding the relationship between altered pelvic and acetabular geometry and development of hip osteoarthritis, as well as point to improved diagnostic methods and analysis of surgical treatment. It is very difficult to accurately assess how changes in pelvic geometry affect the stress and strain distribution of the joint in an experimental setting. The finite element (FE) method provides an alternative approach for study of hip joint mechanics. Although FE models of the pelvis have been developed, validation by direct comparison with subject-specific experimental measurements has not been performed. In addition, previous models have utilized over-simplified bone geometry and homogeneous material properties. The objectives of this study were to 1) develop and validate a FE model of the pelvis using subject-specific measurements of bone geometry as well as location-dependent cortical thickness and trabecular bone elastic modulus, and 2) assess the sensitivity of the subject-specific FE model to changes in material properties and cortical thickness.

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