Zainab Altai; Erica Montefiori; Bart van Veen; Margaret Paggiosi; Eugene V. McCloskey; Marco Viceconti; Claudia Mazzà; Xinshan Li

Recently, coupled musculoskeletal-finite element modelling approaches have emerged as a way to investigate femoral neck loading during various daily activities. Combining personalised gait data with finite element models will not only allow us to study changes in motion/movement, but also their effects on critical internal structures, such as the femur. However, previous studies have been hampered by the small sample size and the lack of fully personalised data in order to construct the coupled model. Therefore, the aim of this study was to build a pipeline for a fully personalised multiscale (body-organ level) model to investigate the strain levels at the femoral neck during a normal gait cycle. Five postmenopausal women were included in this study. The CT and MRI scans of the lower limb, and gait data were collected for all participants. Muscle forces derived from the body level musculoskeletal models were used as boundary constraints on the finite element femur models. Principal strains were estimated at the femoral neck region during a full gait cycle. Considerable variation was found in the predicted peak strain among individuals with mean peak first principal strain of 0.24% ± 0.11% and mean third principal strain of -0.29% ± 0.24%. For four individuals, two overall peaks of the maximum strains were found to occur when both feet were in contact with the floor, while one individual had one peak at the toe-off phase. Both the joint contact forces and the muscular forces were found to substantially influence the loading at the femoral neck. A higher correlation was found between the predicted peak strains and the gluteus medius (R2 ranged between 0.95 and 0.99) than the hip joint contact forces (R2 ranged between 0.63 and 0.96). Therefore, the current findings suggest that personal variations are substantial, and hence it is important to consider multiple subjects before deriving general conclusions for a target population.