RESEARCH METHODOLOGYWhat Is Finite Element Analysis?Welch-Phillips, Adanna MCh*; Gibbons, Denys MBBCh BAO†; Ahern, Daniel P. MCh, MRCSI‡; Butler, Joseph S. PhD, FRCS*,§Author Information *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital †Spine Service, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland ‡School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin §National Spinal Injuries Unit, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: Daniel P. Ahern, MCh, MRCSI, National Spinal Injuries Unit, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin D07 AX57, Ireland (e-mail: [email protected]). Clinical Spine Surgery: October 2020 - Volume 33 - Issue 8 - p 323-324 doi: 10.1097/BSD.0000000000001050 Buy Metrics Abstract Finite element analysis is a computational technique to predict how different materials will react when a range of forces are applied. In the field of orthopedics, this technique has predominantly been used for implant design and testing. As the technology improves, increasing clinical applications are being developed, offering promise in the areas of surgical planning and the opportunity to tailor implants to individual patient characteristics. This article introduces the various preclinical mechanical tests available, as well as providing a brief overview of the finite element analysis technology. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.