Simulation of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficiency in a Musculoskeletal Model with Anatomical Knees

The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 9 Mar 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120701206010023


Abnormal knee kinematics and meniscus injury resulting from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficiency are often implicated in joint degeneration even though changes in tibio-femoral contact location after injury are small, typically only a few millimeters. Ligament reconstruction surgery does not significantly reduce the incidence of early onset osteoarthritis. Increased knowledge of knee contact mechanics would increase our understanding of the effects of ACL injury and help guide ACL reconstruction methods. Presented here is a cadaver specific computational knee model combined with a body-level musculoskeletal model from a subject of similar height and weight as the cadaver donor. The knee model was developed in the multi-body framework and includes representation of the menisci. Experimental body-level measurements provided input to the musculoskeletal model. The location of tibio-menisco-femoral contact as well as contact pressures were compared for models with an intact ACL, partial ACL transection (posterolateral bundle transection), and full ACL transection during a muscle driven forward dynamics simulation of a dual limb squat. During the squat, small changes in femur motion relative to the tibia for both partial and full ACL transection push the lateral meniscus in the posterior direction at extension. The central-anterior region of the lateral meniscus then becomes “wedged” between the tibia and femur during knee flexion. This “wedging” effect does not occur for the intact knee. Peak contact pressure and contact locations are similar for the partial tear and complete ACL transection during the deep flexion portion of the squat, particularly on the lateral side. The tibio-femoral contact location on the tibia plateau shifts slightly to the posterior and lateral direction with ACL transection.

Keywords: Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Meniscus, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficiency, Musculoskeletal Model, Joint Loading, Biomechanics..
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