An experimental system for the analysis of knee joint biomechanics is presented. The system provides for the simultaneous recording of ligament forces using buckle transducers and three-dimensional joint motion using an instrumented spatial linkage, as in vitro specimens are subjected to a variety of external loads by a pneumatic loading apparatus with associated force transducers. The system components are described, and results of an evaluation of system errors and accuracy are presented. The experimental setup has been successfully used in the analysis of normal knee ligament mechanics, as well as surgical reconstructions of the anterior cruciate ligament. The system can also be adapted to test other human or animal in vitro joints.

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