Loading and Movement
Univ.- Prof. Georg Bergmann, Dr. Alison Agres, Dr. Peter Raffalt
Disorders of the musculoskeletal system impair many patients and cause high costs. In Germany, 400,000 knee and hip endoprotheses are implanted each year, 20 percent of people above 55 y. suffer from arthrosis, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system are the second most reason for loss of working years.
The researchers of the JWI-groups “Instrumented Implants“ and “Muskuloskeletal and Functional Analysis“ feel committed to investigating the reasons for such diseases, finding ways for their prevention, and contributing to improve joint replacements.
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For safety tests and further improvement of joint replacements the loads acting on the implants must be known. Such data can also help patients with arthrosis or after fracture to avoid detrimental activities. They furthermore serve to optimize physiotherapy and to validate and improve biomechanical methods for calculating forces inside the body. We measure the joint forces and moments directly in patients. For this purpose sensors and miniaturized electronics were safely integrated in implants. Energy supply and data transmission are accomplished by a magnetic field, resp. by radio communication. Currently studies on the loading of knee, hip, and shoulder joints and of spinal implants are performed.
Musculoskeletal and Functional Analysis
The forces acting on the bones and joints of the human skeleton are known to be multiples of bodyweight, even during normal daily activities. Overloading of these musculoskeletal structures can occur due to bone deformities, muscular deficits or disturbed movement patterns, which can al lead to failure of soft tissue structures and, in the longer term, degeneration of the entire joint. Through accurate and validated models of the mechanics of the human lower limb, determined using movement patterns gained from the gait lab, we are able to understand the subject specific loading conditions to better assess individual functional deficits and the risk of mechanical overload.