Determination of ligament forces is an integral part of understanding their contribution during motion and external loading of an intact joint. While almost all previous investigations have reported only the magnitude of tension, this alone cannot adequately describe the function of a particular ligament. An alternative approach to determine the in-situ forces in ligaments has been developed which utilizes a universal force-moment sensor in conjunction with a force transformation scheme. In addition to providing the magnitude of ligament force, the direction and point of application of this in-situ force can also be determined. Further, the approach does not require mechanical contact with the ligament. Application of this new methodology is demonstrated for the human anterior cruciate ligament in the present study (n = 7) although it may be similarly applied to other ligaments at the knee or in other synovial joints of the human body.

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