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Finite element study on the predicted equivalent stresses in the artificial hip joint

DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2012.52007, PP. 43-51

Keywords: Finite Element Modeling, Hip Joint, UHMWPE, Femur Head Dimensions

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Abstract:

The subsurface fatigue that occurs in the Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) hip joint cup has been identified to be correlated with the contact stress at that cup. This cup stress is known to be affected by the implant design, dimensions and materials. In this study, a 3D finite element modeling has been used to investigate the effects on the cup contact stress when using low stiffness Titanium alloy (Ti) as a femur head. Also, the effects on the cup contact stress due to using different sizes of femur heads, and the presence of metal backing shell with different thicknesses are studied. The finite element results show that the use of low stiffness Ti alloy femur head results in a significant decrease in the cup contact stress compared with Stainless Steel (SS) and Cobalt Chromium (Co Cr Mo) femur heads. The presence of metal backing shell up to 1 mm thickness results in a remarkable decrease in the cup contact stresses especially for small femur heads. Finally, the use of larger femur heads, up to 32 mm diameter, results in significant decrease in the overall predicted hip joint contact. The present results indicate that any changes in design and geometrical parameters of the hip joint have significant consequences in the long term behaviour of the artificial hip joint and should be taken into consideration.

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