FEA study into ankle kinematics and traumatic injury to the talar dome

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr David Forrestal
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

External supervisors

  • Dr Kevin Tetsworth, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Mr Nick Green, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital


The HBI has been conducting research into talar dome morphology for the past several years. We have demonstrated links between tibial pilon fractures and talar dome injuries not previously identified in the literature. Current literature has reported only 3 cases of injury to the talar dome during a tibial pilon fracture.

However, over the last 10 years at the RBWH, we have identified 58 cases. These injuries have been digitally mapped and combined to observe common fracture patterns. With extensive access to patient scans and micro CT scans of the talus, we are looking to model what the stresses on the joint are during traumatic injury and see if the fracture patterns compare to the clinical findings. The study will be conducted alongside a multidiscipline team as they observe the different injury patterns between gender, mechanism of injury, and other clinically relevant factors.

Research activities

  • Constructing a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of an ankle, using a combination of clinical scans and micro CT scans.
  • Run a computational study to observe what the stresses are on the talus during traumatic axial loading, simulating a fall from a height or a motor vehicle accident.


The aim of the project is to investigate the stress exerted on the talar dome during a traumatic injury axial loading injury. It is expected several papers and conference talks will be produced.

Skills and experience

The ideal candidate will have experience in producing FEA meshes and running computational studies. Some knowledge of anatomy would be advantageous.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.