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BIOMECHANICS OF THE KNEE

INTRODUCTION

The knee joint transimits loads,fascilitates positions and movements of the body aids in the
conservation of momemtum and provides the necessary moments for activities involving the leg .The
knee is principally a two joint structure composed of the tibiofemoral joint and tibiofibular joint has a
valuable role but does not participate in motion.Knee motion occurs simutaneously in three planes,the
motion in thesagittal plane dominates so that it accounts for nearly all of the motion.

The biomechanics of the knee will be divided into two parts

1.KINEMATICS

2.KINETICS

KINEMATICS

It is the branch of mechanics that deals with the motion of the body without reference to force or
mass.

KINETICS

It is the branch of mechanics that deals with the motion of a body under the action of forces and
moments.Kinematics described the motion of a joint in threeplanes

>frontal

>sagital

>transverse

Clinical meassurements of joint range of motion define the anatomic position where the knee is in a
relaxed standing position as a zero position for meassurement.Analysis of the relative rolling and sliding
at the joint surfaces can be performed from the overall motion and the geometry of the surfaces.

RANGE OF MOTION

The range of motion of any joint can be meassured in any plane.Approximate meassurements
requires the use of methods such as
electrogoniometry,roentgenography,fluroscopy,stereophotogrammetry etc.

The femoral axis is defined as a line between the center of the femoral head and the center of the distal
condyles.The tibial axis joins the center of the proximal tibia to the center of the ankle.In the
tibiofemoral joint motion takes place in allthree planes,but the range of moyion is greatest in
the sagittal plane.Motion in this plane from full extension to full flextion of the knee is typically
from 3rd degree of hyperextension to 155 degree of flexion.At maximum flexion the medial
posterior femoral cortex impacts the posteior horn of the meniscus.thigh –calf contacts is
usually the major factor in limiting flexion.Motion in the transverse plane,internal and external
rotation is variable during function and can be thought of as freedom of rotation.This is
LAXITY.each laxity curvve is in the form of a hysteresis loop that reflects he properties of the
soft tissues such as ligaments,capsule and menisci,which restricts motion at the extremes.

1.The tissues are strsin stiffening,such that at higher elongation,their stiffness is higher.

2.The tissues are viscoelastic ,meaning that the elongation is time dependent and there is a time lag in
recovering their original shape.

At any angle of flexion if an internal and then an external torque is applied to the tibia,there is a
rotational laxity in each direction with a limit at each extreme within the normal physiological
torque .Relative to the neutral position the angles of rotation at the range of flexion angles are
called internal and external rotation laxity.With the knee in full extension the rotational laxity is
restricted by the interlocking of the femoral and tibial condyles.The range of rotation laxity
increases as the knee is flexed reaching a maximum at 30 degree to 40 degree of flexion.

Motion of the frontal plane,abduction and adduction is similarly affected by the amount of joint
flexion.The range of tibiofemoral joint motion required for the performance of various physical
activities can be determined from kinematic analysis.Motion in the knee during walking has
been meassured in all planes.