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Appl Ergon. 2010 Dec;42(1):106-13. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.007. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Pressure distribution on the anatomic landmarks of the knee and the effect of kneepads.

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  • 1Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, PO Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, United States.


This study examines stress transmitted to anatomic landmarks of the knee (patella, combined patella tendon and tibial tubercle) while in static kneeling postures without kneepads and while wearing two kneepads commonly worn in the mining industry. Ten subjects (7 male, 3 female) simulated postures utilized in low-seam mines: kneeling in full flexion; kneeling at 90° of knee flexion; and kneeling on one knee while in one of three kneepad states (no kneepads, non-articulated kneepads, and articulated kneepads). For each posture, peak and mean pressure on the anatomic landmarks of the knee were obtained. The majority of the pressure was found to be transmitted to the knee via the combined patellar tendon and tibial tubercle rather than through the patella. While the kneepads tested decreased the maximum pressure experienced at the combined patellar tendon and tibial tubercle, peak pressures of greater than 25 psi were still experienced over structures commonly injured in mining (e.g. bursa sac - bursitis/Miner's Knee). The major conclusion of this study is that novel kneepad designs that redistribute the stresses at the knee across a greater surface area and to other regions of the leg away from key structures of the knee are needed.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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