An open-source finite element ankle model for in-silico assessment of ankle treatment

The aim of this study is to create a fully open-source finite element ankle model, including bones, ligaments, and cartilages, appropriate musculoskeletal loading for a standardised representation of ankle biomechanics and pre-clinical ankle joint analysis. Biomechanical simulation of the foot and ankle complex is a growing research area but compared to simulation of joints such as hip and knee, it has been under investigated and lacks consistency in research methodology.

According to Dr Elise Pegg, a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, and recipient of an ORUK Early-career Research Fellowship for this project, “Despite many treatment options around 50% of those suffering ankle injuries are likely to end up with further complications later on in life.”

The computer simulation uses CT imaging data of ankle ligament injuries provided by researchers at the University of Sheffield. It will allow the modelling of different treatments including the repositioning of ligaments on ankle stability. The researchers are currently undertaking user testing – supplying the model to other experts to test its application and usability, with the aim of concluding the study by the middle of 2024. The model is open source and designed to be used by clinicians without a background in engineering.


  • Mr Aashish Gulati, Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Mr Jitendra Mangwani, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, University Hospitals of Leicester
  • Professor Claire Brockett, Professor of Biomechanics, University of Sheffield, Department of Mechanical Engineering