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Department of Biomechanics

Knee Kinematics Research

Our research efforts in Knee Kinematics focus on quantitative characterization of the mechanical function of the knee joint in its intact state, following ligament injury and reconstruction, and after joint replacement. The long-term goals of this work are to:

  1. Improve knee function following joint reconstruction or replacement, thereby enhancing clinical outcome in the short and long-term
  2. Develop more customized surgical treatment for knee injury and disease to decrease clinical complications and reinjury
  3. Identify mechanical factors associated with onset and progression of osteoarthritis following joint injury as a means of improving treatment of this disease

Of particular interest is developing more precise, personalized surgical treatments to improve clinical outcomes. Work under this broad theme includes using novel measures of knee stability, contact mechanics, and ligament loading patterns to understand how knee function is affected by:

  1. Patient factors: including shapes of the articular surfaces and properties of the supporting ligaments
  2. Surgical factors: such as graft placement and implant alignment
  3. Design variables: encompassing shapes of bearing surfaces in knee replacements

Multidisciplinary studies spanning in vitro testing, computational modeling, and clinical assessment of patients are conducted to identify key contributors to knee joint function among this broad space of variables. Physical experiments on cadaveric knee specimens are conducted using robotic technology. Computational models of knee joint function are combined with novel statistical methods. Clinical research using objective and quantitative measurement systems for knee stability have been developed. Altogether, these approaches are integrated to capitalize on the rich multidisciplinary and translational research environment at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Specifically, this research involves close collaboration with clinical colleagues in the Arthroplasty Service, the Sports Medicine Service, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Radiology.

Representative Publications

Thein R, Boorman-Padgett J, Khamaisy S, Zuiderbaan HA, Wickiewicz TL, Imhauser CW, Pearle AD. Medial Subluxation of the Tibia After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture as Revealed by Standing Radiographs and Comparison With a Cadaveric Model. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Dec;43(12):3027-33. doi: 10.1177/0363546515608473. Epub 2015 Oct 14. PubMed PMID: 26467149.

Cassidy KA, Tucker SM, Rajak Y, Kia M, Imhauser CW, Westrich GH, Heyse TJ. Kinematics of passive flexion following balanced and overstuffed fixed bearing unicondylar knee arthroplasty. Knee. 2015 Dec;22(6):542-6. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2015.07.014. Epub 2015 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 26358244.

Imhauser CW, Sheikh S, Choi DS, Nguyen JT, Mauro CS, Wickiewicz TL. Novel measure of articular instability based on contact stress confirms that the anterior cruciate ligament is a critical stabilizer of the lateral compartment. J Orthop Res. 2015 Aug 4. doi: 10.1002/jor.23006. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26241404.

Heyse TJ, Tucker SM, Rajak Y, Kia M, Lipman JD, Imhauser CW, Westrich GH. Frontal plane stability following UKA in a biomechanical study. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2015 Jun;135(6):857-65. doi: 10.1007/s00402-015-2198-6. Epub 2015 Mar 18. PubMed PMID: 25783845.