Analysis of Mechanical Behavior of the Underlying Tissue to the Ischial Tuberosities Using Finite Element Method

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Víctor M. Araujo-Monsalvo; José J. Silva-Lomelí; Aylenid Alemán-Pérez; Víctor M. Domínguez-Hernández; Marcos Martínez-Cruz; Elisa Martínez-Coria & Diana A. Gayol-Mérida


Pressure ulcers are the most common secondary complication to a spinal cord injury, which endanger both health and life of the patients who suffer them. The most common pressure ulcers in spinal cord injuries occur in the pelvic region, mainly in the ischial tuberosities (ITs). A strategy used in clinic is to quantify the pressure generated between the patient and the surface, in order to assess the risk posed by that surface for developing pressure ulcers. Despite this, this type of surface measurements does not guarantee that pressure in the internal tissues underlying to bony prominences, to be safe. In order to study the mechanisms of formation of pressure ulcers, an analysis of a model of the pelvis and its underlying tissue was performed using the Finite Element Method (FEM). By this means we can study the behavior of ITs on its surrounding tissue, and at the same time, we analyze the biomechanical effects those cause ulcers. The computational model of the pelvis was built from tomographic slices using CAD software (Computing Aided Design). The model was exported to the finite element software COMSOL and six study cases were analyzed: an analysis of the pelvis on healthy tissue blocks and five more cases, which simulate tissue injury with different depths, representing surface and internal ulcers. The results showed that the maximum stress points in all tests are located just below the ITs it was also found that internal injuries present higher stresses and strains, which can be precursors of tissue damage.

KEY WORDS: Pressure ulcer; Deep Tissue Injury; Finite Element Analysis.

How to cite this article

ARAUJO-MONSALVO, V. M; SILVA-LOMELÍ, J. J.; ALE- MÁN-PÉREZ, A.; DOMÍNGUEZ-HERNÁNDEZ, V. M.; MARTÍNEZ-CRUZ, M.; MARTÍNEZ-CORIA, E. & GAYOL- MÉRIDA, D. A. Analysis of mechanical behavior of the underlying tissue to the ischial tuberosities using finite element method. Int. J. Morphol., 34(3):1142-1147, 2016.