Finite element analysis of the rotator cuff: A systematic review

Drew H. Redepenning, Paula M. Ludewig, John M. Looft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Finite element modeling serves as a promising tool for investigating underlying rotator cuff biomechanics and pathology. However, there are currently no concrete guidelines for reporting in finite element model studies. This has compromised the reliability, validity, and reproducibility of literature due to omission of pertinent items within publications. Recently a Finite Element Model Grading Procedure has been proposed as a reporting guideline for model developers. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of rotator cuff focused finite element models and characterize the reporting quality of those articles. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed in PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase to find relevant articles. Each article was graded and given a reporting quality ranking based on a score generated from the Finite Element Model Grading Procedure. Findings: We found that only 5/22 articles had scores of 75% or higher and fell within the “exceptional” reporting quality range. Most of the articles (16/22) fell within the “good” reporting quality range with scores between 50% and 75%. However, 9/16 articles within the “good” reporting quality range had scores below 60%. Interpretation: This study indicates that improved guidelines and standards for good reporting practices must be made in the field of finite element modeling. Furthermore, it supports the use of the Finite Element Model Grading Procedure as an objective method for evaluating the quality of finite element model reporting in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Biomechanics
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health Musculoskeletal Training Grant 2T32AR050938 . Appendix A We are attaching to our submission a blank copy of the Finite Element Model Grading Procedure (FEMGP) proposed by Erdemir et al. (2012) . If using the FEMGP please cite as: Erdemir, A., Guess, T.M., Halloran, J., Tadepalli, S.C., Morrison, T.M., 2012. Considerations for reporting finite element analysis studies in biomechanics. J. Biomech. 45, 625–633. Unlabelled Image

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Finite element modeling
  • Rotator cuff
  • Shoulder
  • Systematic review


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