Lower-extremity musculoskeletal geometry affects the calculation of patellofemoral forces in vertical jumping and weightlifting

Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2010;224(9):1073-83. doi: 10.1243/09544119JEIM731.


The calculation of the patellofemoral joint contact force using three-dimensional (3D) modelling techniques requires a description of the musculoskeletal geometry of the lower limb. In this study, the influence of the complexity of the muscle model was studied by considering two different muscle models, the Delp and Horsman models. Both models were used to calculate the patellofemoral force during standing, vertical jumping, and Olympic-style weightlifting. The patellofemoral forces predicted by the Horsman model were markedly lower than those predicted by the Delp model in all activities and represented more realistic values when compared with previous work. This was found to be a result of a lower level of redundancy in the Delp model, which forced a higher level of muscular activation in order to allow a viable solution. The higher level of complexity in the Horsman model resulted in a greater degree of redundancy and consequently lower activation and patellofemoral forces. The results of this work demonstrate that a well-posed muscle model must have an adequate degree of complexity to create a sufficient independence, variability, and number of moment arms in order to ensure adequate redundancy of the force-sharing problem such that muscle forces are not overstated.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Musculoskeletal Physiological Phenomena
  • Musculoskeletal System / anatomy & histology
  • Patellofemoral Joint / anatomy & histology*
  • Patellofemoral Joint / physiology*
  • Track and Field / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*