Relative positions of the contacts on the cartilage surfaces of the knee joint

Peter S. Walker, Gokce Yildirim, Jon Sussman-Fort and Gregg R. Klein

The goal of this project was to determine the centers of contacts (points of closest approach of the articular surfaces) for the tibio-femoral and patello-femoral joints throughout the flexion range, with a focus on high flexion where there is potential overlap between the contacts. The purpose was to determine the implications to the design of joint replacements and tissue engineered implants. The tibio-femoral contact at 0° flexion was displaced 5 mm anterior to the notch (the end point of the articular cartilage on the mid-line of the femoral sulcus) on the medial side, while remaining level with the notch on the lateral side. The patella contacts on the femur extended 15 mm posterior to the intercondylar notch with a centerline between the lateral and medial paths being several millimeters lateral to the center of the femur. The centers of the patella contacts were close to the inner margin of the medial condyle and did not directly overlap with the centers of the tibial contacts. On the lateral side the patella contacts ended where the tibial contacts began. The authors conclude by discussing the implications for knee replacement design.

The Knee, Volume 13, Issue 5, October 2006, Pages 382-388

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