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Total knee replacement (TKR) is commonly used to correct end-stage knee osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, difficulty with stair climbing often persists and prolongs the challenges of TKR patents. Complete understanding of loading at the knee is of great interest in order to aid patient populations, implant manufacturers, rehabilitation, and future healthcare research. Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation approximates joint loading and corresponding muscle forces during a movement. The purpose of this study was to determine if knee joint loadings following TKR are recovered to the level of healthy individuals, and determine the differences in muscle forces causing those loadings. Data from five healthy and five TKR patients were selected for musculoskeletal simulation. Variables of interest included knee joint reaction forces (JRF) and the corresponding muscle forces. A paired samples t-test was used to detect differences between groups for each variable of interest (p<0.05). No differences were observed for peak joint compressive forces between groups. Some muscle force compensatory strategies appear to be present in both the loading and push-off phases. Evidence from knee extension moment and muscle forces during the loading response phase indicates the presence of deficits in TKR in quadriceps muscle force production during stair ascent. This result combined with greater flexor muscle forces resulted in similar compressive JRF during loading response between groups.


This article was published openly thanks to the University of Tennessee Open Publishing Support Fund.

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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