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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2002 September;54(3):183-7

language: Italian

Reconstruction, application and evaluation of a finite element method to study the pelvic floor. Preliminary results

Marino G. 1, Bignardi C. 2

1 Dipartimento di NefroUrologia Unità Operativa di Urologia Ospedale Mauriziano, Torino
2 Dipartimento di Meccanica Politecnico di Torino


Background. To verify the possibility to apply the Finite Element Method of structural analysis (FEM) to the study of pelvis, with particular attention to the ligamental structures linking pubis to the cervix-urethra tract.
Methods. By means of FEMAP and Hypermesh pre-processors, the three-dimensional reconstruction of the anatomical model, has been mathematically made, using photographs of 80 cadaveric pelvis structure cross sections (3 mm one from the next). Then, with the NASTRAN code, the model has been solved. The deflection of the pelvis structures has been simulated and the more stressed anatomical zones have been located studying the distribution of stress in the numerical model.
Results. The analysis has pointed out that the most stressed areas of the pelvic floor are the cervix-urethra tract and the perineum trapezium below. The observation of the extent of the displacements, in the simulation of the deflection of the pelvis structures, has pointed out the importance of the role of the ligaments linking pubis to the cervix-urethra tract to distribute the resultant of loads on the pelvis structures in harmonic way.
Conclusions. The results confirm the role of the ligamental structures between pubis and the cervix-urethra tract that, stressed as tie rods, subdivide the global load in the several components, with anterior-lateral direction, showing a non secondary role in the pelvis dynamics. The rational of the reconstruction of such structures in urological surgery is therefore strengthened, in order to restore the anatomical and functional support.

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