The ovine hip is often used as an experimental research model to simulate the human hip. However, little is known about the contact pressures on the femoral and acetabular cartilage in the ovine hip, and if those are representative for the human hip.
A model of the ovine hip, including the pelvis, femur, acetabular cartilage, femoral cartilage and ligamentum transversum, was built using computed tomography and micro-computed tomography. Using the finite element method, the peak forces were analysed during simulated walking.
The evaluation revealed that the contact pressure distribution on the femoral cartilage is horseshoe-shaped and reaches a maximum value of approximately 6 MPa. The maximum contact pressure is located on the dorsal acetabular side and is predominantly aligned in the cranial-to-caudal direction. The surface stresses acting on the pelvic bone reach an average value of approximately 2 MPa.
The contact pressure distribution, magnitude, and the mean surface stress in the ovine hip are similar to those described in the current literature for the human hip. This suggests that in terms of load distribution, the ovine hip is well suited for the preclinical testing of medical devices designed for the human hip.
Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2012;25(4):301-6. doi: 10.3415/VCOT-11-09-0132. Epub 2012 Apr 25.