Experimental validation of a tibiofemoral model for analyzing joint force distribution

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A computational model of the tibiofemoral joint utilizing the discrete element analysis method has been developed and validated with human cadaveric knees. The computational method can predict load distributions to within a root mean square error (RMSE) of 3.6%. The model incorporates subject-specific joint geometry and the health of the subjects' articular cartilage to determine the cartilage stiffness. It also includes the collateral and cruciate ligaments and utilizes stiffness values derived from literature for these elements. Comparisons of the total load, peak load, and peak load location for axial, varus, and valgus loading conditions confirmed that there was less than 4% RMSE between the analytical and experimental results. The model presented in this paper can generate results with minimal computational time and it can be used as a non-invasive method for characterizing and monitoring subject-specific knee loading patterns. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Biomechanics