Finite Element Simulation of Ankle/Foot Injury in Frontal Crashes 2000-01-0156
Finite element models of human body segments have been developed in recent years. Numerical simulation could be helpful when understanding injury mechanisms and to make injury assessments. In the lower leg injury research in NISSAN, a finite element model of the human ankle/foot is under development. The mesh for the bony part was taken from the original model developed by Beaugonin et al., but was revised by adding soft tissue to reproduce realistic responses. Damping effect in a high speed contact was taken into account by modeling skin and fat in the sole of the foot. The plantar aponeurosis tendon was modeled by nonlinear bar elements connecting the phalanges to the calcaneus. The rigid body connection, which was defined at the toe in the original model for simplicity, was removed and the transverse ligaments were added instead in order to bind the metatarsals and the phalanges. These tendons and ligaments were expected to reproduce a realistic response in compression. It is well known that the arch of the mid-foot is extended before the tibial shaft is deformed when a large compressive force is applied. The model was first validated against static compression data to evaluate its mechanical response. Then, its dynamic response was calculated to simulate the cadaver impact tests conducted by the authors previously. Good agreement between model predictions and test results was achieved. Improvements made to the model by adding the soft tissue are described in detail.