An analytical parametric model was developed to estimate the natural biological variations in muscle forces and their effect on the hip forces subject only to physiological constraints and not predefined optimization criterion. Force predictions are based on the joint kinematics and kinetics of each subject, a previously published muscle model, and physiological constraints on the muscle force distributions. The model was used to determine the hip contact forces throughout the stance phase of gait of a subject with a total hip replacement (THR). The parametrically modeled peak hip force without antagonistic muscle activity varied from 2.7 to 3.2 Body Weights (mean 2.9 Body Weights), which agreed well with published in vivo measurements from instrumented THRs in other subjects. For every 10% increase in antagonistic activity, the mean peak hip force increased by 0.2 Body Weights. The parametric model allows one to examine the effect of specific muscle weaknesses or increased antagonistic muscle activity on the hip forces. The model also provides a tool for studying the effect of gait adaptations on hip forces, as predictions are based on each individual's gait data. Differences in peak forces between subjects can then be evaluated relative to the uncertainty in not knowing the precise muscle force distributions.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.