Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Jennifer Wayne


Rigid body modeling has historically been used to study various features of the elbow joint including both physical and computational models. Computational modeling provides an inexpensive, easily customizable, and effective method by which to predict and investigate the response of a physiological system to in vivo stresses and applied perturbations. Utilizing computer topography scans of a cadaveric elbow, a virtual representation of the joint was created using the commercially available MIMICS(TM) and SolidWorks(TM) software packages. Accurate 3D articular surfaces, ligamentous constraints, and joint contact parameters dictated motion. The model was validated against two cadaveric studies performed by Chanlalit et al. (2011, 2012) considering monopolar and bipolar circular radial head replacements in their effects on radiocapitellar stability and respective reliance upon lateral soft tissues, as well as a comparison of these with a novel anatomic radial head replacement system in an elbow afflicted with the “terrible triad” injury. Rigid body simulations indicated that the computational model was able to accurately recreate the translation of forces in the joint and demonstrate results similar to those presented in the cadaveric data in both the intact elbow and in unstable injury states. Trends in the resulting data were reflective of the average behavior of the cadaveric specimens while percent changes between states correlated closely with the experimental data. Information on the transposition of forces within the joint and ligament tensions gleaned from the computational model provided further insight into the stability of the elbow with a compromised radial head.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013