Stress Analysis of Artificial Shoulder Joints

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Roger Veldman, Hope College

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This material is based upon work supported by Shoulder Innovations, LLC and Transcorp, Inc.


The best design for an artificial shoulder joint is not fully known, so the objective of this project was to determine the best design of the socket portion of the shoulder, know as the glenoid, through the comparison of several different design parameters. These parameters included the glenoid’s radius of curvature, as well as the glenoid’s method of fixation. This comparison was done through the use of the commercial software program ANSYS, which used finite element analysis to simulate the effects of various forces on the different glenoid designs. The results from the FEA were analyzed to determine stresses and deformations in each glenoid arising from the predetermined load positions and load values. These load values included forces on the shoulder typically expected from everyday activities along with some extreme load situations. The results indicated that having a larger radius of curvature glenoid and insetting the glenoid in the bone presented the least amount of stress and deformation due to any applied load.

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