Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Peter A. Gustafson

Second Advisor

Dr. James R. Jastifer

Third Advisor

Dr. Koorosh Naghshineh

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel Kujawski


finite element, foot and ankle, stochastic modeling, 3D constructions, hybird continuum/structural finite element model, foot and ankle biomechanics


Bone is composed of two structures: compact bone and spongy bone. Spongy bone porosity highly affects the strength and the physical endurance of bone to carry loads. Most studies use continuum finite element (FE) approaches to model spongy bone and neglect porosity. Neglecting porosity may not efficiently assist orthopaedic surgeons to treat patients who experience bone physical disability. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate an inexpensive approach that simulates spongy bone with more accurate capturing of porosity and less requirements of bone information. The approach is developed through investigating the mechanical characteristics of spongy bone; that is, by creating and analyzing a structural FE model composed of stochastically oriented structural elements or "beams". Each beam element represents a trabecula. In addition, this study investigates the experimental complex biomechanics of foot and ankle bones loaded in eversion/inversion. Further, this study provides a structural-anatomical description that explains the effect of subtalar joint anatomy and screw constructs on its torsional rigidity.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Biomechanics Commons