So far, virtually nothing is known about the mechanical properties of pelvic trabecular bone. In this study, several techniques have been used to establish some insight in these properties. Dual-energy quantitative computer tomography (DEQCT) was used to look at the distribution of bone densities throughout the pelvic bone and nondestructive mechanical testing was used to obtain Young's moduli and Poisson's ratios in three orthogonal directions for cubic speciments of pelvic trabecular bone. The same specimens were then used for stereological measurements to obtain volume fractions and the spatial orientations of the mean intercept lengths. The combined data on the mechanical tests and the stereological measurements made it possible to calculate Young's moduli and Poisson's ratios for the specimen's principal material axes.
DEQCT showed that bone densities within a pelvic bone are significantly higher in the superior part of the acetabulum, extending to the sacroiliac joint area and, secondly, in the area of the pubic symphysis. Volume fractions found for the specimens did not exceed 20%. This may be considered rather low when compared to values reported in the literature for trabecular bone of femoral or tibial origin, but the values do lie in the same range as vertebral trabecular bone. With the volume fraction as its primary predictor, values of Young's moduli were also low. For most specimens these values were not higher than 100 MPa, with an occasional peak of 250 MPa. Looking at the ratio of the highest and lowest Young's modulus or at the components of the fabric tensor, it can be concluded that pelvic trabecular bone is not highly anisotropic. On an average, Poisson's ratio was found to be closer to 0.2 rather than 0.3, which is in accordance with other studies on Poisson's ratio of trabecular bone.