Relationship Between Knee Stability and Function in the ACL-Competent and ACL-Deficient Knee


Carl Imhauser, PhD, Biomechanics Department
Suzanne Maher, PhD, Biomechanics Department
Thomas L. Wickiewicz, MD, Sports Medicine & Shoulder Service

Project Description

Clinicians use a variety of exams to assess the mechanical behavior of the knee joint after rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), including tests of anterior and rotational stability. Although such exams can detect ACL-deficiency, the relationship between the results of these exams and the behavior of the knee joint under the functional loads of gait is not well-understood. This leaves a critical gap in understanding how ACL injury will affect the functional performance of the knee, and inhibits the ability of the clinician to decide between conservative and surgical treatment. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between clinically-assessed stability and functional performance of the knee through integrated robotic testing and dynamic gait simulation, respectively. We hypothesize that knees with less stability under simulated clinical tests will experience increased rotational offset and increased contact stresses in the posterior medial compartment of the knee with simulated gait. We will use a robotic testing platform to simulate clinical tests of knee stability, and use a specially-designed knee simulator to apply functional loads of gait. Contact stresses generated at the tibiofemoral articulation will be measured with a specially-designed stress transducer. By participating in this project, the summer student will enhance their knowledge of clinical assessment and treatment of the knee following ACL rupture, knee joint anatomy, biomechanics, orthopaedic surgery and research study design by participating in specimen imaging, dissection and testing, and analyzing and interpreting data.

This Position Has Been Filled.