Time dependent behavior of cartilage surrounding a metal implant for full thickness cartilage defects of various sizes: a finite element study

Authors: Manda, K., Eriksson, 
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Volume: 11   731-742
Year: 2012


Recently, physiological and biomechanical studies on animal models with metal implants filling full thickness cartilage defects have resulted in good clinical outcomes. The knowledge of the time dependent behavior of cartilage surrounding the metal implant is essential for understanding the joint function after treating such defects. We developed a model to investigate the in vivo time dependent behavior of the tibiofemoral cartilages surrounding the metal implant, when the joint is subjected to an axial load for various defect sizes. Results show that time-dependent effects on cartilage behavior are significant, and can be simulated. These effects should be considered when evaluating the results from an implant. In particular the depth into the cartilage where an implant is positioned and the mechanical sealing due to solidification of the poroelastic material need a time aspect. We found the maximal deformations, contact pressures and contact forces in the joint with time for the implant positioned in flush and sunk 0.3 mm into the cartilage. The latter position gives the better joint performance. The results after 60 s may be treated as the primary results, reflecting the effect of accumulation in the joint due to repeated short time loadings. The wedge shaped implant showed beneficial in providing mechanical sealing of cartilages surrounding the implant with time.