The relationship between medial meniscal subluxation and stress distribution pattern of the knee joint: finite element analysis.


Degenerative changes of the knee joint and clinical follow-up after meniscal subluxation are well documented. In the current study three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis (FEA) of human lower limb was used to investigate the effect medial meniscal subluxation on the loadings of the knee structures.


Apart from the reference model, a total of ten 3D models were created, according to amount of medial meniscal subluxation. ANSYS® 14 was used to analyze the stress/load distribution, that is to say the maximum equivalent stress (MES) (von Mises stress) on bones, cartilages, ligaments and menisci. MES was expressed as Newton/mm(2) = Megapascal (MPa).


In a static and standing upright position the MES on all knee structures were evaluated in the reference model. Although MES increased in all structures with the increase of medial meniscal subluxation degree, tibia cartilage was found to be the most affected structure with an increase of 22.73-fold in the 10 mm subluxation model when compared with references values.


This study showed that medial meniscus subluxation is associated with increased loadings on all knee structures especially the tibia cartilage. Also the degree of the medial meniscal subluxation correlates with distribution and the amount of loadings on tibia cartilage which may be a prominent feature of knee osteoarthritis.

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