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Comparison of shear forces and ligament loading in the healthy and ACL-deficient knee during gait

Journal of Biomechanics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2003.07.001
  • Modeling
  • Muscle Force
  • Medial Collateral
  • Meniscus
  • Anterior Translation


Abstract The purpose of this study was to predict and explain the pattern of shear force and ligament loading in the ACL-deficient knee during walking, and to compare these results to similar calculations for the healthy knee. Musculoskeletal modeling and computer simulation were combined to calculate ligament forces in the ACL-deficient knee during walking. Joint angles, ground-reaction forces, and the corresponding lower-extremity muscle forces obtained from a whole-body dynamic optimization simulation of walking were input into a second three-dimensional model of the lower extremity that represented the knee as a six degree-of-freedom spatial joint. Anterior tibial translation (ATT) increased throughout the stance phase of gait when the model ACL was removed. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) was the primary restraint to ATT in the ACL-deficient knee. Peak force in the MCL was three times greater in the ACL-deficient knee than in the ACL-intact knee; however, peak force sustained by the MCL in the ACL-deficient knee was limited by the magnitude of the total anterior shear force applied to the tibia. A decrease in anterior tibial shear force was brought about by a decrease in the patellar tendon angle resulting from the increase in ATT. These results suggest that while the MCL acts as the primary restraint to ATT in the ACL-deficient knee, changes in patellar tendon angle reduce total anterior shear force at the knee.

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