The success of current total knee replacement (TKR) devices is contingent on the kinematics and contact mechanics during in vivo activity. Indicators of potential clinical performance of total joint replacement devices include contact stress and area due to articulations, and tibio-femoral and patello-femoral kinematics. An effective way of evaluating these parameters during the design phase or before clinical use is via computationally efficient computer models. Previous finite element (FE) knee models have generally been used to determine contact stresses and/or areas during static or quasi-static loading conditions. The majority of knee models intended to predict relative kinematics have not been able to determine contact mechanics simultaneously. Recently, however, explicit dynamic finite element methods have been used to develop dynamic models of TKR able to efficiently determine joint and contact mechanics during dynamic loading conditions [1,2]. The objective of this research was to develop and validate an explicit FE model of a TKR which includes tibio-femoral and patello-femoral articulations and surrounding soft tissues. The six degree-of-freedom kinematics, kinetics and polyethylene contact mechanics during dynamic loading conditions were then predicted during gait simulation.

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