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Multi-pelvis characterisation of articular cartilage geometry

: Gillard, Faye C.; Dickinson, Alexander S.; Schneider, Urs; Taylor, Andrew C.; Browne, Martin


Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine 227 (2013), No.12, pp.1255-1264
ISSN: 0046-2039
ISSN: 0954-4119
ISSN: 2041-3033
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Hüftpfanne; implant; Implantat; design; Kugel; Anatomie; Medizintechnik

The shape of the acetabular cartilage follows the contact stress distribution across the joint. Accurate characterisation of this geometry may be useful for the development of acetabular cup devices that are more biomechanically compliant. In this study, the geometry of the acetabular cartilage was characterised by taking plaster moulds of the acetabulum from 24 dry bone human pelvises and digitising the mould shapes using a three-dimensional laser scanner. The articular bone surface geometry was analysed, and the shape of the acetabulum was approximated by fitting a best-fit sphere. To test the hypothesis that the acetabulum is non-spherical, a best-fit ellipsoid was also fitted to the geometry. In each case, points around the acetabular notch edge that disclosed the articular surface geometry were identified, and vectors were drawn between these and the best-fit sphere or ellipsoid centre. The significantly larger z radii (into the pole) of the ellipsoids indicated that the acetabulum was non-spherical and could imply that the kinematics of the hip joint is more complex than purely rotational motion, and the traditional ball-and-socket replacement may need to be updated to reflect this motion. The acetabular notch edges were observed to be curved, with males exhibiting deeper, wider and shorter notches than females, although the difference was not statistically significant (mean: p = 0.30) and supports the use of non-gender-specific models in anatomical studies.