The menisci play an important role in load distribution, load bearing, joint stability, lubrication, and proprioception. Partial meniscectomy has been shown to result in changes in the kinematics and kinetics at the knee during gait that can lead to progressive meniscal degeneration. This study examined changes in the strains within the menisci associated with kinematic and kinetic changes during the gait cycle. The gait changes considered were a 5 deg shift toward external rotation of the tibia with respect to the femur and an increased medial-lateral load ratio representing an increased adduction moment. A finite element model of the knee was developed and tested using a cadaveric specimen. The cadaver was placed in positions representing heel-strike and midstance of the normal gait, and magnetic resonance images were taken. Comparisons of the model predictions to boundaries digitized from images acquired in the loaded states were within the errors produced by a 1 pixel shift of either meniscus. The finite element model predicted that an increased adduction moment caused increased strains of both the anterior and posterior horns of the medial meniscus. The lateral meniscus exhibited much lower strains and had minimal changes under the various loading conditions. The external tibial rotational change resulted in a 20% decrease in the strains in the posterior medial horn and increased strains in the anterior medial horn. The results of this study suggest that the shift toward external tibial rotation seen clinically after partial medial meniscectomy is not likely to cause subsequent degenerative medial meniscal damage, but the consequence of this kinematic shift on the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis following meniscectomy requires further consideration.
The Effect of Kinematic and Kinetic Changes on Meniscal Strains During Gait
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Netravali, N. A., Koo, S., Giori, N. J., and Andriacchi, T. P. (December 23, 2010). "The Effect of Kinematic and Kinetic Changes on Meniscal Strains During Gait." ASME. J Biomech Eng. January 2011; 133(1): 011006. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4003008
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