Effect of frontal plane tibiofemoral angle on the stress and strain at the knee cartilage during the stance phase of gait

Authors

  • Nicholas H. Yang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. T: 1-617-373-3474; F: 1-617-373-2921.
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  • Hamid Nayeb-Hashemi,

    1. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Paul K. Canavan,

    1. Department of Physical Therapy, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, Windham community Memorial Hospital, Windham, Connecticut
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  • Ashkan Vaziri

    1. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Subject-specific three-dimensional finite element models of the knee joint were created and used to study the effect of the frontal plane tibiofemoral angle on the stress and strain distribution in the knee cartilage during the stance phase of the gait cycle. Knee models of three subjects with different tibiofemoral angle and body weight were created based on magnetic resonance imaging of the knee. Loading and boundary conditions were determined from motion analysis and force platform data, in conjunction with the muscle-force reduction method. During the stance phase of walking, all subjects exhibited a valgus–varus–valgus knee moment pattern with the maximum compressive load and varus knee moment occurring at approximately 25% of the stance phase of the gait cycle. Our results demonstrated that the subject with varus alignment had the largest stresses at the medial compartment of the knee compared to the subjects with normal alignment and valgus alignment, suggesting that this subject might be most susceptible to developing medial compartment osteoarthritis (OA). In addition, the magnitude of stress and strain on the lateral cartilage of the subject with valgus alignment were found to be larger compared to subjects with normal alignment and varus alignment, suggesting that this subject might be most susceptible to developing lateral compartment knee OA. © 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:1539–1547, 2010

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