Our review of the literature has shown there is a global reach to finite element analysis of the foot and ankle. With dozens of research groups globally building foot and ankle models, it is more important than ever to create a standardised model for clinical use. The dots in the map shown represent one or more published simulation studies of the ankle since 2000; the green markers represent studies of the foot, the purple markers of the ankle, and the orange markers show studies looking at ankle replacement.
Foot and ankle models have been used successfully to consider shoe design, orthotic design, and total ankle replacements, however, are less reliable when looking at injury. This is because the way biological tissues are modelled can influence the outputs of a model. In a complex anatomy such as the foot and ankle, simplifications need to be made, hence it is really important to know these simplifications aren't directly impacting the findings of a model.
Our aim is to generate a model that can be used to look at the natural ankle joint, and give clinically relevant results for both an intact ankle, but also when considering ankle instability through mechanisms such as ligament damage or tears. The collaborative effort of clinicians and engineers, with their respective expertise, is required to successfully achieve this aim. Find out more about our team on our main Open Ankle Models project page.