Finite element analysis of a total ankle replacement during the stance phase of gait

B. Reggiani, A. Leardini, F. Corazza, M. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Total ankle replacement (TAR) designs have still several important issues to be addressed before the treatment becomes fully acceptable clinically. Very little is known about the performance, in terms of the contact pressures and kinematics of TAR when subjected to daily activities such as level gait. For this purpose, an explicit finite element model of a novel 3-component TAR was developed, which incorporated a previously validated mechanical model of the ankle ligament apparatus. The intermediate mobile polyethylene meniscal bearing was modelled as an elastic-plastic continuum while the articulating surfaces of the tibial and talar metal components as rigid bodies. Overall kinematics, contact pressures and ligament forces were analysed during passive, i.e. virtually unloaded, and active, i.e. stance phase of gait, conditions. Simulation of passive motion predicted similar kinematics as reported previously in an analytical four-bar linkage model. The meniscal bearing was observed to move 5.6 mm posteriorly during the simulated stance and the corresponding antero-posterior displacement of the talar component was 8.3 mm. The predicted pattern and the amount (10.6°) of internal-external rotation of the ankle complex were found to be in good agreement with corresponding in vivo measurements on normal ankles. A peak contact pressure of 16.8 MPa was observed, with majority of contact pressures below 10 MPa. For most ligaments, reaction forces remain within corresponding physiological ranges. A first realistic representation of the biomechanical behaviour of the human ankle when replaced by prosthetic joints is provided. The applied methodology can potentially be applied to other TAR designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1443
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Contact pressure
  • FE analysis
  • Full conformity
  • Gait
  • Kinematics analysis
  • Ligamentous apparatus
  • Stance phase
  • Total ankle replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Finite element analysis of a total ankle replacement during the stance phase of gait'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this