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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v19.i1.70
pages 55-82

Application of the Finite Element Method in Orthopedic Implant Design

Amit Roychowdhury
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, India


The finite element method (FEM) was first introduced to the field of orthopedic biomechanics in the early 1970s to evaluate stresses in human bones. By the early 1980s, the method had become well established as a tool for basic research and design analysis. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, FEM has also been used to study bone remodeling. Today, it is one of the most reliable simulation tools for evaluating wear, fatigue, crack propagation, and so forth, and is used in many types of preoperative testing. Since the introduction of FEM to orthopedic biomechanics, there have been rapid advances in computer processing speeds, the finite element and other numerical methods, understanding of mechanical properties of soft and hard tissues and their modeling, and image-processing techniques. In light of these advances, it is accepted today that FEM will continue to contribute significantly to further progress in the design and development of orthopedic implants, as well as in the understanding of other complex systems of the human body. In the following article, different main application areas of finite element simulation will be reviewed including total hip joint arthroplasty, followed by the knee, spine, shoulder, and elbow, respectively.