Many Swedish top athletes have suffered from stress fractures in the shin bone and similar injuries in the thigh bone of osteoporotic patients lead to so called atypical fractures. Stress fractures appear as cracks in the bone surface and they are both painful and difficult to heal.
Our research is focused on the biomechanical environment in the crack-region, trying to elucidate why the fractures do not heal. This project uses patient specific FE models based on CT and μCT images to evaluate the strain distributions inside the crack during daily activities. The strain distributions in combination with tissue differentiation theories may provide information about tissue growth and remodelling. Mechanical modelling can also be used to investigate the relationship between crack geometry and stress distribution.
We also use computational models to investigate how different surgical interventions alter the mechanical environment in the region surrounding the stress fracture.
Collaboration: The project is a collaboration with the Orthopaedic Department, Linköping University, Sweden.
Funding: Swedish National Center for Research in Sports
Gustafsson, Schilcher, Grassi, Aspenberg, Isaksson, Strains caused by daily loading might be responsible for delayed healing of an incomplete atypical femoral fracture. Bone, 2016 (Popular summary)
Fågelberg, Grassi, Aspenberg, Isaksson, Surgical widening of a stress fracture decreases local strains sufficiently to enable healing in a computational model. International Biomechanics, 2015