Comparison of computational analysis with clinical measurement of stresses on below-knee residual limb in a prosthetic socket

Ming Zhang, Colin Roberts

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Interface pressures and shear stresses between a below-knee residual limb and prosthetic socket predicted using finite element analyses were compared with experimental measurements. A three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model, based on actual residual geometry and incorporating PTB socket rectification and interfacial friction/slip conditions, was developed to predict the stress distribution. A system for measuring pressures and bi-axial shear stresses was used to measure the stresses in the PTB socket of a trans-tibial amputee. The FE-predicted results indicated that the peak pressure of 226 kPa occurred at the patellar tendon area and the peak shear stress of 50 kPa at the anterolateral tibia area. Quantitatively, FE-predicted pressures were 11%, on average, lower than those measured by triaxial transducers placed at all the measurement sites. Because friction/slip conditions between the residual limb and socket liner were taken into consideration by using interface elements in the FE model, the directions and magnitudes of shear stresses match well between the FE prediction and clinical measurements. The results suggest that the nonlinear mechanical properties of soft tissues and dynamic effects during gait should be addressed in future work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2001


  • Finite element modelling
  • Pressure
  • Prosthetic socket
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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