Send to

Choose Destination
Med Eng Phys. 1999 Jun;21(5):279-91.

Analysis of strain distribution in the medial collateral ligament using a photoelastic coating method.

Author information

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Kurume University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The strain distribution over the entire medial collateral ligament (MCL) was measured using a photoelastic coating method. This new approach utilized a polyurethane monomer as a photoelastic coating film. The initial experiments investigating MCL strain measurement showed that this film had a high sensitivity for strain and good adhesion to the ligament. It was confirmed that strain distribution could be obtained qualitatively over the entire ligament using this method. The mechanism of MCL injury was studied by applying this polyurethane coating film to the entire MCL in a femur-MCL-tibia complex. When simple tension was applied to the complex, strain concentrations were centred at the tibial insertion site, and all the specimens ruptured at the MCL tibial insertion site. With application of a valgus bending moment, increased strain was seen in the MCL from the medial femoral condyle to the medial epicondyle. Histological analysis demonstrated midsubstance ligament ruptures in this same region. For both tests, rupture sites and increased strain concentration sites correlated. In addition, an impingement phenomenon of the MCL on the medial femoral condyle can be seen during application of valgus force, and this phenomenon may explain the higher incidence of MCL injuries on the femoral side seen in the clinical setting. This polyurethane coating method allows for direct and visual measurements, and can qualitatively measure the strain behaviour over the entire MCL surface. This new technique represents a significant improvement over previous point-by-point strain measurement methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center