Tibiofemoral contact forces in the anterior cruciate ligament-reconstructed knee

David John Saxby, Adam L. Bryant, Luca Modenese, Pauline Gerus, Bryce A. Killen, Jason Konrath, Karine Fortin, Tim V. Wrigley, Kim L. Bennell, Flavia M. Cicuttini, Christopher Vertullo, Julian A. Feller, Tim Whitehead, Price Gallie, David G. Lloyd

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose To investigate differences in anterior cruciate ligament-reconstructed (ACLR) and healthy individuals in terms of the magnitude of the tibiofemoral contact forces, as well as the relative muscle and external load contributions to those contact forces, during walking, running, and sidestepping gait tasks. Methods A computational EMG-driven neuromusculoskeletal model was used to estimate the muscle and tibiofemoral contact forces in those with single-bundle combined semitendinosus and gracilis tendon autograft ACLR (n = 104, 29.7 ± 6.5 yr, 78.1 ± 14.4 kg) and healthy controls (n = 60, 27.5 ± 5.4 yr, 67.8 ± 14.0 kg) during walking (1.4 ± 0.2 m·s-1), running (4.5 ± 0.5 m·s-1) and sidestepping (3.7 ± 0.6 m·s-1). Within the computational model, the semitendinosus of ACLR participants was adjusted to account for literature reported strength deficits and morphological changes subsequent to autograft harvesting. Results ACLR had smaller maximum total and medial tibiofemoral contact forces (80% of control values, scaled to bodyweight) during the different gait tasks. Compared with controls, ACLR were found to have a smaller maximum knee flexion moment, which explained the smaller tibiofemoral contact forces. Similarly, compared with controls, ACLR had both a smaller maximum knee flexion angle and knee flexion excursion during running and sidestepping, which may have concentrated the articular contact forces to smaller areas within the tibiofemoral joint. Mean relative muscle and external load contributions to the tibiofemoral contact forces were not significantly different between ACLR and controls. Conclusions ACLR had lower bodyweight-scaled tibiofemoral contact forces during walking, running, and sidestepping, likely due to lower knee flexion moments and straighter knee during the different gait tasks. The relative contributions of muscles and external loads to the contact forces were equivalent between groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2206
Number of pages12
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • knee contact
  • ACL reconstructed gait
  • musculoskeletal modelling
  • EMG-driven modelling

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