Evaluating the mechanical response of novel synthetic femurs for representing osteoporotic bone
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Osteoporosis is a disease prevalent in older adults, characterized by high porosity in bone and subsequent decrease in fracture resistance. This demographic is also the population that most frequently receives devices such as hip implants. However, high porosity complicates surgery and reduces the fixation and effectiveness of orthopaedic devices, which are typically designed using cadaveric specimens from the general population. Synthetic bones are also used in the design of such devices but need to represent the properties of the patient population. Thus, the mechanical response of two iterations of novel synthetic femurs were evaluated for their ability to represent osteoporotic cadaveric specimens and were tested and compared against cadaveric specimens across four loading modes. The first iteration had reduced density and wall thickness compared to standard models and was typically too rigid or too stiff to be a feasible alternative to cadaveric specimens. The second iteration, with similarly reduced wall thickness and further reduced density, was quite representative, with no statistical differences identified against the cadaveric specimens in any loading mode, except in screw pullout. Such a model can provide a foundation for the development of orthopaedic devices better suited to osteoporotic bone, potentially improving surgical outcomes, reducing medical expense, and improving quality of life for patients.
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