Three dimensional multibody computer models have been recently used to analyze the kinematics of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) (Cohen, et al., 1998). By employing cartilage specific magnetic resonance images (MRI) to acquire the model geometry, detailed topographies of the cartilage surfaces were obtained to model the contact between the opposing surfaces of the patella and femur. Contact stresses due to compression of the cartilage layers were approximated by a linear function of the compressive strain estimated from the relative change in cartilage thickness within the contact region. In our earlier studies, a uniform cartilage layer thickness was assumed in the analysis of joint contact, and a validation of this model was performed by comparing its kinematic predictions to the measured kinematics of five cadaver joints (Kwak, et al., 1996).

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