• Cancellous bone;
  • Structural analyses


A recent article (Burr and Piotrowski, 1982) suggested that structural analyses of long bone cross-sectional geometry will be inaccurate and should be considered inappropriate when cancellous bone accounts for 10–15% or more of the cross-sectional area. Consideration of material property differences between compact and cancellous bone, however, indicates that even significant proportions of cancellous bone (10–40% of total cross-sectional area) will very likely have negligible effects on bone strength and rigidity, and can be effectively ignored in geometrical analyses of diaphyseal sections. In metaphyseal and epiphyseal regions, however, geometric analyses of section properties such as area moments of inertia are inappropriate, both because of significant trabecular bone effects, and because of the inherent constraints of mechanical beam models.