Artificial hips, knees, spinal implants, and other replacement orthopedic parts present unique challenges related to material properties, human physiology, surgical procedures and manufacturing processes. The pioneers that laid the foundation for the industry — many of whom are now leaders in developing orthopedic products and procedures — have always relied on ANSYS to help manage risk, improve insight and accelerate product development in the biomedical industry.

Stress calculation in the hip prosthesis and cap Courtesy CADFEM.

More recently, research is focusing on how no two patients are alike: A one-size-fits-all prosthesis may not be attainable, whereas the design of a few models that fit a vast majority of the population is an ideal business compromise. But can you really create, much less test, designs that address the large variations that could occur?

That is the ongoing challenge for scientists and researchers. ANSYS is addressing that challenge with engineering simulation technology that has allowed more efficient and cost-effective design of devices for an ever-increasing representation of patients.

ANSYS has worked hand in hand with scientists and orthopedics companies to develop a unique workflow that will transform a standard biomedical image to a full 3-D structural modeling of an implant inserted in a patient-specific bone. As these designs are refined, new solutions will outperform existing models. Continued testing may result in implants tailor-made for each patient — or an acceptable compromise that considers patient and business satisfaction regardless of the specific solution, the process is adding additional information for an ever-growing database for further research.