Tibiofemoral joint contact force in deep knee flexion and its consideration in knee osteoarthritis and joint replacement

Takeo Nagura, Hideo Matsumoto, Yoshimori Kiriyama, Ajit Chaudhari, Thomas P. Andriacchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to estimate the tibiofemoral joint force in deep flexion to consider how the mechanical load affects the knee. We hypothesize that the joint force should not become sufficiently large to damage the joint under normal contact area, but should become deleterious to the joint under the limited contact area. Sixteen healthy knees were analyzed using a motion capture system, a force plate, a surface electromyography, and a knee model, and then tibiofemoral joint contact forces were calculated. Also, a contact stress simulation using the contact areas from the literature was performed. The peak joint contact forces (M ± SD) were 4566 ± 1932 N at 140 degrees in rising from full squat and 4479 ± 1478 N at 90 degrees in rising from kneeling. Under normal contact area, the tibiofemoral contact stresses in deep flexion were less than 5 MPa and did not exceed the stress to damage the cartilage. The contact stress simulation suggests that knee prosthesis having the contact area smaller than 200 mm2 may be problematic since the contact stress in deep flexion would become larger than 21 MPa, and it would lead damage or wear of the polyethylene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Biomechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov


  • Computer model
  • Knee joint loading
  • Motion analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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