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Joint Loading & Musculoskeletal Analysis

The loads acting in joint prostheses and other orthopaedic implants is still partially unknown. The acting loads are required for different purposes.

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Methods for unloading the medial knee compartment

Measurement of knee joint load and force distribution in the patient

medio-laterale Kraftverteilung im Kniegelenk

Within the framework of the project funded by the Deutsche Arthose-Hilfe e.V., the medio-lateral force distribution in the knee joint and various methods for relieving the medial compartment are being investigated. The transmission of force in the knee joint takes place via the medial and lateral compartments. In addition to the total load of the joint, the medio-lateral force distribution plays a decisive role in the development of arthrosis. Several studies have shown that malpositions and thus one-sided loads are a risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis. Even with a straight leg axis, about 2/3 of the maximum axial force is transmitted via the medial compartment, which favors gonarthrosis at this point.

The project aims to investigate whether external influences can relieve the load on the medial compartment and shift the force in the knee more to the lateral side. This is to be achieved by lateral elevations of the ankle arch, valgus orthoses and changes in the gait pattern due to limping and weight shifting.

In order to be able to measure the knee joint load and force distribution in the patient, the tibia component of a knee endoprosthesis was equipped inside with strain sensors and a measuring transmitter. 9 of these instrumented implants were placed on patients and all 6 load components were measured at different activities. The development and manufacture of the measuring implants was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and Zimmer GmbH.

Further information on the Deutschen Arthrose-Hilfe e.V.