Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Richard Komistek

Committee Members

William Hamel, Lee Martin, Michael LaCour


Sometimes called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis most often affects the knee, which is a leading cause of pain and reduced mobility. While early treatment is ideal, it is not always successful in combating osteoarthritis and improving joint function, therefore creating the need for total knee arthroplasty (TKA), which is a late-stage treatment where damaged bone and cartilage are replaced by artificial cartilage. Joint arthroplasty is a common and successful procedure for end-stage osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, TKA patient satisfaction rates lag behind those of total hip arthroplasty [1,2], which remains an impetus to create new designs. Due to ethical issues, time requirements, and prohibitive expenses of testing new designs in vivo, mathematical modeling may be an alternative tool to efficiently assess the kinetics and kinematics of new TKA designs. In general, the knee is one of the most complicated joints in the human body, including multiple articulating surfaces and the complexity of soft tissues encompassing the knee joint. Therefore, mathematically modeling the knee is a challenging and complex process. With increasing computational power and advanced knowledge and techniques, advanced mathematical models of the knee joint can be created utilizing various modeling techniques [3]. Furthermore, mathematical modeling can advance our knowledge related to knee biomechanics, especially those parameters that are otherwise challenging to obtain, such as soft tissue properties and effects pertaining to knee mechanics. Mathematical modeling allows the user to evaluate multiple designs and surgical approaches quickly and cost-efficiently without having to conduct lengthy clinical studies. Mathematical models can also provide insight into topics of clinical significance and can efficiently analyze outcome contributions that cannot be controlled in fluoroscopic studies, such as anatomical, mechanical, and kinematic alignment comparisons for the same subject. Furthermore, mathematical models can evaluate the effect of TKA design concerns such as changing conformity of the polyethylene or using femoral components with single or multi radius designs [3]. The objectives of this dissertation are to advance a forward solution model to create a more sophisticated and physiological representation of the knee joint.This is achieved by developing a muscle wrapping algorithm, integrating a validated inverse dynamics model, adding more muscles, incorporating several different TKA types including revision TKA designs, and expanding the model to include other daily activities. All these modifications are incorporated in a graphical user interface. These advancements increase both functionality and accuracy of the model. Several validation methods have been implemented to investigate the accuracy of the predicted kinetics and kinematics of this mathematical model.

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