Numerical and experimental simulation of the effect of long bone fracture healing stages on ultrasound transmission across an idealized fracture

Sabina Gheduzzi, S P Dodd, Anthony W Miles, V F Humphrey, James L Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of various stages of fracture healing on the amplitude of 200 kHz ultrasonic waves propagating along cortical bone plates and across an idealized fracture has been modeled numerically and experimentally. A simple, water-filled, transverse fracture was used to simulate the inflammatory stage. Next, a symmetric external callus was added to represent the repair stage, while a callus of reducing size was used to simulate the remodeling stage. The variation in the first arrival signal amplitude across the fracture site was calculated and compared with data for an intact plate in order to calculate the fracture transmission loss (FTL) in decibels. The inclusion of the callus reduced the fracture loss. The most significant changes were calculated to occur from the initial inflammatory phase to the formation of a callus (with the FTL reducing from 6.3 to between 5.5 and 3.5 dB, depending on the properties of the callus) and in the remodeling phase where, after a 50% reduction in the size of the callus, the FTL reduced to between 2.0 and 1.3 dB. Qualitatively, the experimental results follow the model predictions. The change in signal amplitude with callus geometry and elastic properties could potentially be used to monitor the healing process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-894
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • biomedical ultrasonics
  • ultrasonic propagation
  • elasticity
  • bioacoustics
  • bone
  • biomedical measurement
  • biomechanics
  • ultrasonic transmission
  • orthopaedics

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