The pelvis functions to transmit upper body loads to the lower limbs and is critical in human locomotion. Semi-automated, finite element (FE) morphing techniques eliminate the need for segmentation and have shown to accelerate the generation of multiple specimen-specific pelvic FE models to enable the study of pelvic mechanical behaviour. The purpose of this research was to produce simulated human pelvic FE models representing android, gynecoid, anthropoid and platypelloid morphologies and to isolate differences in strain patterns due to anatomic shape under physiologic loading. Using five initially generated specimen-specific FE models, each specimen-specific FE model was reconfigured into three different morphologies using FE mesh morphing techniques. Significantly different strains were found comparing the gynecoid (classical female pelvis’) to the android (‘true male pelvis’) models (p = 0.040), with strains twice as high in the superior pubic rami. No significant differences were seen in comparing overall strains between the other pelvic shapes (p = 0.61–0.126). The highest strain regions in all models were found in the supra-acetabular regions, with high strains also found in the regions of the superior pubic rami, the greater sciatic notch and sacral regions about the L5 vertebrae. Quantifying the contributions of shape to strain in the pelvis may increase the understanding of sex and patient-specific differences in fracture risk and motivate the consideration of treatment strategies that account for anatomic pelvic differences.
Finite element analysis; Specimen-specific modeling; Anatomic pelvic shape; Mesh morphing; Mesh mapping; Strain patterns