How do anisotropy and age affect fatigue and damage in cancellous bone?
The fatigue behaviour of materials is of particular interest for the failure prediction of materials and structures exposed to cyclic loading. For trabecular bone structures only a few sets of lifetime data have been reported in the literature and structural measures are commonly not considered. The influence of load contributions not aligned with the main physiological axis remains unclear. Furthermore age effects on the fatigue behaviour are not well described. In the present study, different groups of human vertebral cancellous bone were exposed to cyclic compression. The inital modulus and therefore lifetimes were found to be highly dependent on age. The decrease in both with increasing age was much more pronounced in specimens which were not aligned with the main physiological axis. This implies that old bone is much more sensitive to (cyclic) failure loads in general but particularly to loads which are not coincident with the physiological main axis.
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