Musculoskeletal gait simulation to investigate biomechanical effect of knee brace

Yi Ting Yap, Darwin Gouwanda, Alpha A. Gopalai, Yu Zheng Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation have been an emerging trend in human gait analysis. It allows the user to isolate certain biomechanical conditions and elucidate the dynamics of joints and muscles. This study used an open-source musculoskeletal modeling and simulation tool, opensim to investigate the biomechanical effect of knee brace. It collected gait data from thirty-eight participants and examined the gait spatio-temporal parameters, joint angles, and joint moments. Static optimization was performed to estimate the lower extremity muscle force. Statistical analysis was conducted to identify the difference between normal and braced gaits. The results demonstrated the feasibility of this method to investigate the interaction and coordination of lower extremity joints and muscles. The knee brace constrained the range of the motion of the knee during walking. It also changed the walking speed, step length, and stance-to-swing ratio. Several significant differences were found in the joint moments and muscle forces of the rectus femoris, gastrocnemius, soleus and tibialis anterior. Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation tool offers a less invasive and practical alternative to analyze human motion. It also provides a means to investigate the effect of medical devices such as knee brace, which can be potentially beneficial for the future design and development of such devices and for the derivation of future rehabilitation treatment to improve patient's gait.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024502
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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