Statistical shape and appearance models for fast and automated estimation of proximal femur fracture load using 2D finite element models

N Sarkalkan, Jan Waarsing, Koen Bos, H Weinans, AA Zadpoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Estimating the risk of osteoporotic fractures is an important diagnostic step that needs to be taken before medicinal treatment. Densitometry-based criteria are normally used in clinical practice for this purpose. However, densitometry-based techniques could not explain all low-energy fractures. As patient-specific finite element (FE) models allow for consideration of other parameters (e.g. load conditions) that are known to be associated with fracture, they are considered promising candidates for more accurate fracture risk estimation. Nevertheless, they are often time consuming, expensive, and complex to build and may need the type of expertise that is not normally available in clinical settings. In this study, we report the development of an automated platform for estimating proximal femur fracture loads using patient-specific 2D FE models generated using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans. First, a statistical shape and appearance model (SSAM) is built using DXA scans of patients screened for osteoporosis following a low energy fracture. SSAM is then used together with Active Appearance Models (AAM) for automated segmentation of the proximal femur from new unseen DXA scans. The mean point-to-curve error of the automated procedure, i.e. 1.2-1.4 mm, is shown to be only slightly larger than the intra-observer variability of manual segmentation, i.e. 1.0 mm. Moreover, the developed platform automatically meshes the segmented shape, assigns density-based mechanical properties, assigns loads and boundary conditions, submits the 2D FE model for solution, and performs post-processing of the 2D FE simulation data to determine fracture loads. The fracture loads predicted using the manually generated and automatically generated 2D FE models are shown to be very close with a mean difference of around 8.8%. Repeated measures ANOVA showed no significant differences between the fracture loads calculated using FE models manually generated by three independent observers and those calculated using the automatically generated FE models (p > 0.05). (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)3107-3114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC MM-01-51-01

Cite this