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High-accuracy models help patients with bone disease

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Researchers from the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna, Italy have succeeded in using computer models to accurately predict stresses and strains anywhere on a patient’s skeleton.

The method can accurately predict mechanical stresses to within an accuracy of 10 per cent - twice as good as previous studies. The models are built using a 3D x-ray scan of the patient’s bones. The accuracy was first tested on eight cadaver skeletons.

The research team believes the models could have far-reaching applications. It is hoped they will prove to be useful in assessing the risk of fractures in osteoporosis patients, as well as in planning operations and complex skeletal reconstructions for child cancer patients.