Finite element analysis of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon during a passive rehabilitation protocol

Keywords: Finite element method, postoperative rehabilitation, range of movement


The present study aims to create a patient-specific hand model to simulate the passive rehabilitation on the index finger, quantifying the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendon excursion and the stress experienced during simulated flexion. The computational model used in this analysis was created from an unknown patient dataset available in the Embodi3d online library. The segmentation, three-dimensional reconstruction, and modeling of the structures involved were performed using Materialise Mimics and Rhino3D. The FDP tendon excursion and stress values present in the model were calculated in the ANSYS environment. Based on the finite-element simulation, the FDP tendon presents an excursion of 10.1 mm during passive postoperative flexion. The highest-stress values were observed between the pulleys-FDP tendon contact surfaces. In particular, the pulley A1 exhibited the maximum principal stress of the model with a 58.7 MPa.  The pulley A3 showed the same stress distribution pattern that A1 Pulley, but with the lowest values. The FDP Tendon excursion obtained is consistent with the results reported in the literature, which vary from 8 to 11 mm. The stress values found in the model explain the importance of the pulley mechanism keeping the FDP tendon attached to the finger bone during the range of motion experienced. The silico model proposed may potentially be used in the assessment of new medical device proposals in the field of hand reconstructive surgery.

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Author Biographies

Oliver Grimaldo-Ruiz, Politecnico Di Torino

Resarcher, Laboratory of Bio-inspired Nanomechanics ‘‘Giuseppe Maria Pugno’’, Department of Structural, Geotechnical, and Building Engineering (DISEG)

Mariana Rodríguez-Reinoso, Politecnico Di Torino

PhD Student, Department of Structural Geotechnical, and Building Engineering (DISEG)

Cecilia Surace, Politecnico Di Torino

Associate Professor, Department of Structural, Geotechnical, and Building Engineering (DISEG)


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How to Cite
Grimaldo-RuizO., Rodríguez-ReinosoM., & SuraceC. (2021). Finite element analysis of the flexor digitorum profundus tendon during a passive rehabilitation protocol. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (100), 124-132.