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TECHNICAL PAPERS

In Vivo Tracking of the Human Patella Using Cine Phase Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging

[+] Author and Article Information
F. T. Sheehan

Mechanical Engineering Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064; Rehab R&D Center & Diagnostic Radiology Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304; Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

F. E. Zajac

Diagnostic Radiology Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94304; Mechanical Engineering Department & Department of Functional Restoration, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

J. E. Drace

Diagnostic Radiology Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA 94305

J Biomech Eng 121(6), 650-656 (Dec 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2800868 History: Received November 25, 1997; Revised July 28, 1999; Online October 30, 2007

Abstract

Improper patellar tracking is often considered to be the cause of patellar-femoral pain. Unfortunately, our knowledge of patellar-femoral-tibial (knee) joint kinematics is severely limited due to a lack of three-dimensional, noninvasive, in vivo measurement techniques. This study presents the first large-scale, dynamic, three-dimensional, noninvasive, in vivo study of nonimpaired knee joint kinematics during volitional leg extensions. Cine-phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure the velocity profiles of the patella, femur, and tibia in 18 unimpaired knees during leg extensions, resisted by a 34 N weight. Bone displacements were calculated through integration and then converted into three-dimensional orientation angles. We found that the patella displaced laterally, superiorly, and anteriorly as the knee extended. Further, patellar flexion lagged knee flexion, patellar tilt was variable, and patellar rotation was fairly constant throughout extension.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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