In vitro method for assessing the biomechanics of the patellofemoral joint following total knee arthroplasty

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The patellofemoral joint is a common site of pain and failure following total knee arthroplasty. A contributory factor may be adverse patellofemoral biomechanics. Cadaveric investigations are commonly used to assess the biomechanics of the joint, but are associated with high inter-specimen variability and often cannot be carried out at physiological levels of loading. This study aimed to evaluate the suitability of a novel knee simulator for investigating patellofemoral joint biomechanics. This simulator specifically facilitated the extended assessment of patellofemoral joint biomechanics under physiological levels of loading. The simulator allowed the knee to move in 6 degrees of freedom under quadriceps actuation and included a simulation of the action of the hamstrings. Prostheses were implanted on synthetic bones and key soft tissues were modelled with a synthetic analogue. In order to evaluate the physiological relevance and repeatability of the simulator, measurements were made of the quadriceps force and the force, contact area and pressure within the patellofemoral joint using load cells, pressure-sensitive film, and a flexible pressure sensor. The results were in agreement with those previously reported in the literature, confirming that the simulator is able to provide a realistic physiological loading situation. Under physiological loading, average standard deviations of force and area measurements were substantially lower and comparable to those reported in previous cadaveric studies, respectively. The simulator replicates the physiological environment and has been demonstrated to allow the initial investigation of factors affecting patellofemoral biomechanics following total knee arthroplasty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1226
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H - Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2014


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