• hip joint;
  • finite element;
  • impingement;
  • dysplasia;
  • contact stress


Soft tissue damage has been observed in hip joints with pathological geometries. Our primary goal was to study the relationship between morphological variations of the bony components of the hip and resultant stresses within the soft tissues of the joint during routine daily activities. The secondary goal was to find the range of morphological parameters in which stresses are minimized. Computational models of normal and pathological joints were developed based on variations of morphological parameters of the femoral head (Alpha angle) and acetabulum (CE angle). The Alpha angle was varied between 40° (normal joint) and 80° (cam joint). The CE angle was varied between 0° (dysplastic joint) and 40° (pincer joint). Dynamic loads and motions for walking and standing to sitting were applied to all joint configurations. Contact pressures and stresses were calculated and crosscompared to evaluate the influence of morphology. The stresses in the soft tissues depended strongly on the head and acetabular geometry. For the dysplastic joint, walking produced high acetabular rim stresses. Conversely, for impinging joints, standing-to-sitting activities that involved extensive motion were critical, inducing excessive distortion and shearing of the tissue–bone interface. Zones with high von Mises stresses corresponded with clinically observed damage zones in the acetabular cartilage and labrum. Hip joint morphological parameters that minimized were 20° ≤ CE ≤ 30° and alpha ≤ 50°. © 2008 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 27:195–201, 2009