In vivo and in silico analyses in humans: Cartilage loading of patients’ individual knees – the role of soft tissue structures

H.-C. Hege, & M. Weiser, Zuse Institute Berlin, G. Duda, & C. Perka, Charité

Abstract: While a relationship between knee joint laxity and osteoarthritis  is often assumed, the exact mechanism is not yet fully understood. It is not clear how the local loading conditions change after the loss of the ACL as a passive stabilizer, and how active stabilization via muscle contraction affects the local cartilage loading. Such knowledge will enable crucial understanding on how training methods might affect osteoarthritis progression on a biomechanical level. Comparing the dynamic cartilage pressure distributions of “copers”, who stabilize their knees actively, with “non-copers” will provide an additional level of insight to the analysis of cartilage degeneration performed in SP3 in the same cohorts. To achieve this goal, the study will develop and validate a computational musculoskeletal model with two levels of detail: A multibody model of the entire lower limb coupled with a detailed finite element (FE) model of the knee joint. Tools for automated image segmentation from PrevOP SP4 will be used and complemented by patient specific mesh generation. This will allow us to analyse a large cohort of patients. The model will be validated against in vivo measured loads at the knee and hip joints provided by SP4. Combined with the results of SP3 and the homeostasis model of PrevOP SP5 this study will allow us to compare the potential consequences of increased axial joint loads due to active stabilization with the potentially increased shear loads due to a lack of stability. The models will also be used to estimate the load variation within the general population, based on anatomical variation within the large SHIP cohort. New application-specific visual data analysis tools will support the interpretation and comparison of the cohort data.

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