Relationship between bone adaptation and in-vivo mechanical stimulus in biological reconstructions after bone tumor: A biomechanical modeling analysis

Giordano Valente, Lorenzo Pitto, Enrico Schileo, Sabina Piroddi, Alberto Leardini, Marco Manfrini, Fulvia Taddei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Biomechanical interpretations of bone adaptation in biological reconstructions following bone tumors would be crucial for orthopedic oncologists, particularly if based on quantitative observations. This would help plan for surgical treatments, rehabilitative programs and communication with the patients. We aimed to analyze the biomechanical adaptation of a femoral reconstruction after Ewing sarcoma according to an increasingly-used surgical technique, and to relate in-progress bone resorption to the mechanical stimulus induced by different motor activities. Methods We created a multiscale musculoskeletal and finite element model from CT scans and motion analysis data at a 76-month follow-up of a patient, to analyze muscle and joint loads, and to compare the mechanical competence of the reconstructed bone with the contralateral limb, in the current real condition and in a possible revision surgery that removed proximal screws. Findings Our results showed strategies of muscle coordination that led to differences in joint loads between limbs more marked in more demanding motor activities, and generally larger in the contralateral limb. The operated femur presented a markedly low ratio of physiological strain due to load-sharing with the metal implant, particularly in the lateral aspect. The possible revision surgery would help restore a physiological strain configuration, while the safety of the reconstruction would not be threatened. Interpretation We suggest that bone resorption is related to load-sharing and to the internal forces exerted during movement, and the mechanical stimulus should be improved by adopting modifications in the surgical treatment and by promoting physical therapy aimed at specific muscle strengthening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Biological reconstruction
  • Bone mechanical stimulus
  • Bone tumor
  • Subject-specific finite element modeling
  • Subject-specific musculoskeletal modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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