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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2006 Nov;220(8):813-22.

Mechanics of the passive knee joint. Part 1: The role of the tibial articular surfaces in guiding the passive motion.

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Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen's University, 130 Stuart St, Kingston, Ontario K7L3N6, Canada.


The motion of the unloaded knee is associated with tibial internal rotation and femoral posterior translation. Although it is known that the passive motion is the result of the interaction between the articular surfaces and the ligaments, the mechanism through which the particular pattern of motion is guided is not completely understood. The goal of this study was to focus on the tibial geometry and to identify the roles that its geometric features have in guiding the passive knee motion. The method used in this study simplified the geometry of the tibial plateaux and the menisci into basic features that could be eliminated individually. The generated tibial geometry was implemented in a computer model to simulate the passive motion. Different parts of the geometry were eliminated individually and the comparison between the simulation results was used to identify the role that each part of the geometry had in guiding the passive motion. The medial meniscus was found as the feature that promoted the tibial internal rotation and restrained the femoral posterior translation. The lateral meniscus and the medial aspect of the tibial eminence, on the other hand, were found as the elements that confined the tibial internal rotation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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