A direct comparison of patient and force-controlled simulator total knee replacement kinematics

J Biomech. 2007;40(15):3458-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.05.022. Epub 2007 Jul 12.


The need to critically evaluate the efficacy of current total knee replacement (TKR) wear testing methodologies is great. Proposed international standards for TKR wear simulation have been drafted, yet their methods continue to be debated. The "gold standard" to which all TKR wear testing methodologies should be compared is measured in vivo TKR performance in patients. The current study compared patient TKR kinematics from fluoroscopic analysis and simulator TKR kinematics from force-controlled wear testing to quantify similarities in clinical ranges of motion and contact bearing kinematics and to evaluate the proposed ISO force-controlled wear testing methodology. The treadmill walking kinematics from eight well-functioning, 13 month average post-op patients were compared to the 2 million cycle interval walking cycle kinematics from a force-controlled (Instron/Stanmore Knee Joint Simulator, Instron, Canton, MA) knee simulator using identical implant designs (Natural Knee II, Standard Congruent, Zimmer, Warsaw, IN). The in vivo and simulator data showed good agreement in kinematic patterns and ranges of clinical motion. Tribologically the data sets showed similar contact pathway ranges of motion and wear travel distances per cycle. Surgical and simulator alignments of the implant systems were determined to be a contributing factor in observed kinematic differences. This study's statistical findings offer supporting evidence that the simulation of in vivo walking cycle wear kinematics can be accurately reproduced with a force controlled testing methodology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Femur / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Mechanical