The biomechanics of the human patella during passive knee flexion


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Article: article from journal or magazin.
The biomechanics of the human patella during passive knee flexion
Journal of Biomechanics
Heegaard  J., Leyvraz  P. F., Curnier  A., Rakotomanana  L., Huiskes  R.
0021-9290 (Print)
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Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't --- Old month value: Nov
The fundamental objectives of patello-femoral joint biomechanics include the determination of its kinematics and of its dynamics, as a function of given control parameters like knee flexion or applied muscle forces. On the one hand, patellar tracking provides quantitative information about the joint's stability under given loading conditions, whereas patellar force analyses can typically indicate pathological stress distributions associated for instance with abnormal tracking. The determination of this information becomes especially relevant when facing the problem of evaluating surgical procedures in terms of standard (i.e. non-pathological) knee functionality. Classical examples of such procedures include total knee replacement (TKR) and elevation of the tibial tubercle (Maquet's procedure). Following this perspective, the current study was oriented toward an accurate and reliable determination of the human patella biomechanics during passive knee flexion. To this end, a comprehensive three-dimensional computer model, based on the finite element method, was developed for analyzing articular biomechanics. Unlike previously published studies on patello-femoral biomechanics, this model simultaneously computed the joint's kinematics, associated tendinous and ligamentous forces, articular contact pressures and stresses occurring in the joint during its motion. The components constituting the joint (i.e. bone, cartilage, tendons) were modeled using objective forms of non-linear elastic materials laws. A unilateral contact law allowing for large slip between the patella and the femur was implemented using an augmented Lagrangian formulation. Patellar kinematics computed for two knee specimens were close to equivalent experimental ones (average deviations below 0.5 degrees for the rotations and below 0.5 mm for the translations) and provided validation of the model on a specimen by specimen basis. The ratio between the quadriceps pulling force and the patellar tendon force was less than unity throughout the considered knee flexion range (30-150 degrees), with a minimum near 90 degrees of flexion for both specimens. The contact patterns evolved from the distal part of the retropatellar articular surface to the proximal pole during progressive flexion. The lateral facet bore more pressure than the medial one, with corresponding higher stresses (hydrostatic) in the lateral compartment of the patella. The forces acting on the patella were part of the problem unknowns, thus leading to more realistic loadings for the stress analysis, which was especially important when considering the wide range of variations of the contact pressure acting on the patella during knee flexion.
Algorithms Biomechanics Cartilage, Articular/physiology Computer Simulation Elasticity Femur/physiology Humans Hydrostatic Pressure Knee Joint/*physiology/surgery Knee Prosthesis Ligaments, Articular/physiology Models, Biological Movement Muscle, Skeletal/physiology Patella/*physiology Pressure Range of Motion, Articular Reproducibility of Results Rotation Stress, Mechanical Tendons/physiology Tibia/surgery
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28/01/2008 12:22
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