Trabecular bone is a complex material with substantial heterogeneity. Its elastic and strength properties vary widely across anatomic sites, and with aging and disease. Although these properties depend very much on density, the role of architecture and tissue material properties remain uncertain. It is interesting that the strains at which the bone fails are almost independent of density. Current work addresses the underlying structure-function relations for such behavior, as well as more complex mechanical behavior, such as multiaxial loading, time-dependent failure, and damage accumulation. A unique tool for studying such behavior is the microstructural class of finite element models, particularly the “high-resolution” models. It is expected that with continued progress in this field, substantial insight will be gained into such important problems as osteoporosis, bone fracture, bone remodeling, and design/analysis of bone-implant systems. This article reviews the state of the art in trabecular bone biomechanics, focusing on the mechanical aspects, and attempts to identify important areas of current and future research.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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