COMPUTER SIMULATIONS TO PREDICT SUBJECT SPECIFIC TISSUE LOADING

  • David Lloyd
Keywords: EMG, muscle Model, in-vivo muscle loading, knee joint

Abstract

Sporting manoeuvres such as side stepping challenge knee joint stability. The external loads experienced during these tasks do not directly stress ligaments because muscles can also support these loads. Therefore, it is important to have models that can account for how muscles are used. To this end, the development of an electromyography driven knee model is presented. The calibrated model accurately predicts knee flexion-extension moments in a range of static and dynamic tasks. It is then used to examine the contribution of muscles to support varus-valgus loads during static tasks and sporting manoeuvres. In static tasks there are small but specifically directed activation patterns that potentially reduce ligament loading. However, in the sporting manoeuvres the muscular contribution to varus-valgus knee joint stabilisation is much greater. The use of the model in these series of studies shows why it is important to have joint models that account for how people use their muscles. It can then be used to evaluate the efficacy of neuromuscular exercise programmes that may train people to protect knee joint ligaments.