Bone (Bio-)Mechanics ►

Bone mechanics: osteoporosis and fracture prediction

In The Netherlands, over 800,000 persons have osteoporosis (www.osteoporosestichting.nl). Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and weak bone structure, which results in increased fracture risk, particularly in hip (>17.000/year), spine (16.000/year) and wrist (>12.000/year). Osteoporosis is often diagnosed too late, i.e. after a bone fracture.

Prediction of fracture risk is very difficult but clinically extremely important for patients suffering osteoporosis or metastasized cancer in the skeleton. Bone metastases occur in about 15% of all cancer cases. Patients with bone metastases have an increased fracture risk due to weakening of the bone. Particularly, fractures of the femur have large impact on the quality of life. In our research lab, we aim to improve the prediction of femoral fracture risk in patients with bone metastases by developing patients specific computer models, i.e. non-linear finite element models.

In osteoporotic patients, prevention of hip fractures is important as 33% of the male and 24% of the women die within one year after hip fracture. Together with the Sint Maartenskliniek, we aim to gain insight in the effect of using fall techniques on the femoral fracture risk in the elderly and osteoporotic patients. By determining which aspects of the fall techniques decrease the femoral fracture risk, we are able to optimize fall-training in the elderly and osteoporotic patients.

Vertebral compression fractures are the most common fracture type related to osteoporosis, but only about a third are recognized. These fractures are not only associated with pain and a decreased quality of life, but they can also change the local spinal alignment, which can alter the (local) biomechanics of the spine. We aim to improve insight in the biomechanical consequences of osteoporotic vertebral fractures and percutaneous vertebroplasty in order to optimize the treatment in future patients.

Research focus

  • We aim to improve the prediction of femoral fracture risk in patients with bone metastases by developing patients specific computer models, i.e. non-linear finite element models. In addition, our goal is to implement a new and fast tool for fracture risk prediction in a clinical setting. (read more…)
  • We aim to gain insight in the effect of using fall techniques on the femoral fracture risk in the elderly and osteoporotic patients. By determining which aspects of the fall techniques decrease the femoral fracture risk, we are able to optimize fall-training in the elderly and osteoporotic patients. (read more…)
  • We aim to improve insight in the biomechanical consequences of osteoporotic vertebral fractures and percutaneous vertebroplasty in order to optimize the treatment in future patients. (read more…)


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