Computational Knee Ligament Modeling Using Experimentally Determined Zero-Load Lengths

The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 2 Apr 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120701206010033


This study presents a subject-specific method of determining the zero-load lengths of the cruciate and collateral ligaments in computational knee modeling. Three cadaver knees were tested in a dynamic knee simulator. The cadaver knees also underwent manual envelope of motion testing to find their passive range of motion in order to determine the zero-load lengths for each ligament bundle. Computational multibody knee models were created for each knee and model kinematics were compared to experimental kinematics for a simulated walk cycle. One-dimensional non-linear spring damper elements were used to represent cruciate and collateral ligament bundles in the knee models. This study found that knee kinematics were highly sensitive to altering of the zero-load length. The results also suggest optimal methods for defining each of the ligament bundle zero-load lengths, regardless of the subject. These results verify the importance of the zero-load length when modeling the knee joint and verify that manual envelope of motion measurements can be used to determine the passive range of motion of the knee joint. It is also believed that the method described here for determining zero-load length can be used for in vitro or in vivo subject-specific computational models.

Keywords: Computational knee modeling, ligament parameters, reference strain, zero-load length..
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