The Contribution of the Cruciate Ligaments to the Load-Displacement Characteristics of the Human Knee Joint

[+] Author and Article Information
R. L. Piziali

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. 94305

J. Rastegar

Department of General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill. 61801

D. A. Nagel, D. J. Schurman

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. 94305

J Biomech Eng 102(4), 277-283 (Nov 01, 1980) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138223 History: Received June 25, 1979; Revised June 05, 1980; Online June 15, 2009


Human knee specimens were subjected to anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, varus-valgus, and torsional displacement tests. Loads were recorded for the intact joint and for the joint with all soft tissues cut except for the cruciate ligaments. The effect of condylar interference was determined for anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, and torsional displacements. The variation in load with flexion angle was considerable for medial-lateral (0–90-deg flexion) displacements, and less for varus-valgus (0–45-deg flexion) displacements. The cruciates were found to carry almost the entire anterior-posterior load; they carried a significant percentage of the medial-lateral load which varied considerably with flexion angle. A small, but not insignificant percentage of the varus-valgus load was carried by the cruciates and the variations with flexion angle were small. In torsion, the cruciates resisted only internal rotation. In the tested displacement ranges, condylar interference had a small effect on the medial-lateral load but did not affect anterior-posterior or torsional loads.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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