Early hip fracture prediction from clinical x-rays

Project Team Leader
A/Prof Justin Fernandez

Project Team
Dr Phil Blyth, UoO
Dr Dharshini Sreenivasan, Sheffield University
Dr Jacob Munro, UoA
Professor Jillian Cornish, UoA

Project Summary
Hip fractures are the most serious complication of osteoporosis and in New Zealand alone there is an estimated 3000-4000 cases annually placing an immense strain on our healthcare systems. The current clinical standard to estimate the risk of hip fracture is based on areal bone mineral density (BMD) measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). While fast and inexpensive, it produces low-resolution images and does not capture the complex architecture of trabecular bone, a major contributor to overall bone strength and fracture risk. Finite element (FE) models with orthotropic material properties derived from fabric tensors can predict bone strength and fracture risk. The disadvantage of FE models is that they require specialised imaging and high computing power, thus they are infeasible for clinical use.