Quantitative computed tomography-based finite element (QCT-FE) modeling has potential to clarify the role of altered subchondral bone stiffness in osteoarthritis. The objective of this research was to evaluate different QCT-FE modeling and thresholding approaches to identify the method which best predicted experimentally measured local subchondral structural stiffness with highest explained variance and least error. Our results showed that separate modeling of proximal tibial cortical and trabecular bone offered little improvement in QCT-FE-predicted stiffness (0% to +3% improvement in explained variance) when compared to modeling the proximal tibia as a single structure. Based on the results of this study, we do not recommend separate modeling of cortical bone and trabecular bone when developing QCT-FE models of the proximal tibia for predicting subchondral bone stiffness.
Keywords: Finite element modeling; quantitative computed tomography; proximal tibia; subchondral bone stiffness