Impact Response and Biomechanical Analysis of the Knee-Thigh-Hip Complex in Frontal Impacts with a Full Human Body Finite Element Model by ProQuest

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                                Stapp Car Crash Journal, Vol. 52 (November 2008), pp. 505-526
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                                           Copyright © 2008 The Stapp Association
                                                                                                              2008-22-0019


   Impact Response and Biomechanical Analysis of the Knee-Thigh-Hip
 Complex in Frontal Impacts with a Full Human Body Finite Element Model
      Jesse S. Ruan*, Raed El-Jawahri, Saeed Barbat, Stephen W. Rouhana, and Priya Prasad
                                   Vehicle Safety Research and Advanced Engineering
                                                  Ford Motor Company

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ABSTRACT – Changes in vehicle safety design technology and the increasing use of seat-belts and airbag restraint systems
have gradually changed the relative proportion of lower extremity injuries. These changes in real world injuries have renewed
interest and the need of further investigation into occupant injury mechanisms and biomechanical impact responses of the knee-
thigh-hip complex during frontal impacts.

This study uses a detailed finite element model of the human body to simulate occupant knee impacts experienced in frontal
crashes. The human body model includes detailed anatomical features of the head, neck, shoulder, chest, thoracic and lumbar
spine, abdomen, pelvis, and lower and upper extremities. The material properties used in the model for each anatomic part of
the human body were obtained from test data reported in the literature. The human body model used in the current study has
been previously validated in frontal and side impacts. It was further validated with cadaver knee-thigh-hip impact tests in the
current study.

The effects of impactor configuration and flexion angle of the knee on biomechanical impact responses of the knee-thigh-hip
complex were studied using the validated human body finite element model. This study showed that the knee flexion angle and
the impact direction and shape of the impactors affected the injury outcomes of the knee-thigh-hip complex significantly. The
600 flexed knee impact showed the least impact force, knee pressure, femoral von Mises stress, and pelvic von Mises stress but
largest relative displacements of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The 900 flexed
knee impact resulted in a higher impact force, knee pressure, femoral von Mises stress, and pelvic von Mises stress; but smaller
PCL and ACL displacements. Stress distributions of the patella, femur, and pelvis were also given for all the simulated
conditions.

KEYWORDS – Knee-thigh-hip injury; Biomechanics; PCL; Frontal impact; Finite element; Lower extremities.
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INTRODUCTION                                                         National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) data
                                                                     from 1979 to 1995 by Atkinson and 
								
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