Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Spring

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Department

Engineering

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Alexandra Schönning

Second Advisor

Stephen Stagon

Third Advisor

Beven Livingston

Department Chair

Murat Tiryakioglu

College Dean

Mark Tumeo

Abstract

The present work details the creation and analysis of a finite element model of the foot, wherein the plantar fascia was modeled as a viscohyperelastic solid. The objective of this work was to develop a fully functional CAD and Finite Element Model of the foot and plantar fascia for analysis by examining the transient stresses on the plantar fascia through the use of a viscohyperelastic material model. The model’s geometry was developed through the use of image processing techniques with anatomical images provided by the National Institutes of Health. The finite element method was used to analyze the transient response of the plantar fascia during loading. As a first step towards modeling the transient response of the mechanical behavior of the plantar fascia under dynamic loadings, standing conditions were used to analyze the relaxation of the plantar fascia over a time period of 120 seconds (which is the steady-state relaxation time of the plantar fascia). This study resulted in a fully functional model with transient stress data on the behavior of the plantar fascia during loading, along with stress and deformation data for the bones and soft tissue of the foot. The results obtained were similar to that recorded in literature. This model is the first step towards fully characterizing the mechanics of the plantar fascia so as to develop novel treatment methods for plantar fasciitis, and can be applied to future studies to develop novel orthotic devices and surgical techniques for the treatment of and prevention of plantar fasciitis.

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