Comparison of kinematic analysis by mapping tibiofemoral contact with movement of the femoral condylar centres in healthy and anterior cruciate ligament injured knees

Jennifer M. Scarvell, Paul N. Smith, Kathryn M. Refshauge, Howard R. Galloway, Kevin R. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


Two methods of analysis of knee kinematics from magnetic resonance images (MRI) in vivo have been developed independently: mapping the tibiofemoral contact, and tracking the femoral condylar centre. These two methods are compared for the assessment of kinematics in the healthy and the anterior cruciate ligament injured knee. Sagittal images of both knees of 20 subjects with unilateral anterior cruciate ligament injury were analysed. The subjects had performed a supine leg press against a 150 N load. Images were generated at 15° intervals from 0° to 90° knee flexion. The tibiofemoral contact, and the centre of the femoral condyle (defined by the flexion facet centre (FFC)), were measured from the posterior tibial cortex. The pattern of contact in the healthy knee showed the femoral roll back from 0° to 30°, then from 30° to 90° the medial condyle rolled back little, while the lateral condyle continued to roll back on the tibial plateau. The contact pattern was more posterior in the injured knee (p=0.012), particularly in the lateral compartment. The medial FFC moved back very little during knee flexion, while the lateral FFC moved back throughout the flexion arc. The FFC was not significantly different in the injured knee (p=0.17). The contact and movement of the FFC both demonstrated kinematic events at the knee, such as longitudinal rotation. Both methods are relevant to design of total knee arthroplasty: movement of the FFC for consideration of axis alignment, and contact pattern for issues of interface wear and arthritic change in ligament injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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