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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Determination of muscle, ligament and articular forces at the knee during a simulate skating thrust Halliwell, Albert A.


A number of investigators have determined the joint forces acting at the hip and knee for normal human locomotion as related to the design of prosthetic devices. This research has been extended to allow the calculation or estimation of the muscular and ligamentous forces operating at the knee joint for normal walking. The current study expanded upon the past research to evaluate the magnitude and temporal sequence of.the muscle, ligament and articular forces acting at the knee joint for a simulated skating thrust. A skilled ice hockey player was filmed in two reference planes while making a skating thrust from a laboratory force platform. The cine film data was synchronized with the force plate output to allow calculation of the orthogonal forces and moments imposed on the knee joint. The orthogonal force system was determined from a knowledge of the inertial, gravitational and reaction forces acting on the lower limb during the skating thrust. The muscle, ligament and joint forces were determined from equations derived from the conditions of joint equilibrium. The equations of equilibrium were indeterminate and had to be reduced by making assumptions from electromyographic records to allow solution. Forces were calculated for a simplified muscle and ligament system which included the hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscle groups, the collateral ligaments and the cruciate ligaments of the knee joint. In addition, the articular joint force, joint torque and centre of pressure of the joint force were determined. Results of the investigation revealed that the magnitude of the muscle, ligament and joint forces developed in a skating thrust were considerably greater than respective forces exerted during level walking while the temporal sequence of the skating forces was comparable to walking upstairs. The quadriceps muscle group exerted the greatest contractile force while the gastrocnemius and hamstrings groups developed much smaller forces. The largest ligament forces were developed in the collateral ligaments and the posterior cruciate ligament to maintain stability of the joint. The knee joint is subject to the combined effects of a joint force six times body weight and a large joint torque superimposed upon each other during the skating thrust and this fact is considered important when discussing the cause of menisci knee injuries.

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