Correlation of the mean and standard deviation of trabecular stresses has been proposed as a mechanism by which a strong relationship between the apparent strength and stiffness of cancellous bone can be achieved. The current study examined whether the relationship between the mean and standard deviation of trabecular von Mises stresses can be generalized for any group of cancellous bone. Cylindrical human vertebral cancellous bone specimens were cut in the infero-superior direction from T12 of 23 individuals (inter-individual group). Thirty nine additional specimens were prepared similarly from the T4-T12 and L2-L5 vertebrae of a 63 year old male (intra-individual group). The specimens were scanned by micro-computed tomography (μCT) and trabecular von Mises stresses were calculated using finite element modeling. The expected value, standard deviation and coefficient of variation of the von Mises stress were calculated form a three-parameter Weibull function fitted to von Mises stress data from each specimen. It was found that the average and standard deviation of trabecular von Mises shear stress were: (i) correlated with each other, supporting the idea that high correlation between the apparent strength and stiffness of cancellous bone can be achieved through controlling the trabecular level shear stress variations, (ii) dependent on anatomical site and sample group, suggesting that the variation of stresses are correlated to the mean stress to different degrees between vertebrae and individuals, and (iii) dependent on bone volume fraction, consistent with the idea that shear stress is less well controlled in bones with low BV/TV. The conversion of infero-superior loading into trabecular von Mises stresses was maximum for the tissue at the junction of the thoracic and lumbar spine (T12-L1) consistent with this junction being a common site of vertebral fracture.
- Cancellous bone
- Finite element analysis
- Micro tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine