Validation is critical if clinicians are to use musculoskeletal models to optimize treatment of individual patients with a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. This paper provides an update on the annual Grand Challenge Competition to Predict in Vivo Knee Loads, a unique opportunity for direct validation of knee contact forces and indirect validation of knee muscle forces predicted by musculoskeletal models. Three competitions (2010, 2011, and 2012) have been held at the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers Summer Bioengineering Conference, and two more competitions are planned for the 2013 and 2014 conferences. Each year of the competition, a comprehensive data set collected from a single subject implanted with a force-measuring knee replacement is released. Competitors predict medial and lateral knee contact forces for two gait trials without knowledge of the experimental knee contact force measurements. Predictions are evaluated by calculating root-mean-square (RMS) errors and R2 values relative to the experimentally measured medial and lateral contact forces. For the first three years of the competition, competitors used a variety of methods to predict knee contact and muscle forces, including static and dynamic optimization, EMG-driven models, and parametric numerical models. Overall, errors in predicted contact forces were comparable across years, with average RMS errors for the four competition winners ranging from 229 N to 312 N for medial contact force and from 238 N to 326 N for lateral contact force. Competitors generally predicted variations in medial contact force (highest R2 = 0.91) better than variations in lateral contact force (highest R2 = 0.70). Thus, significant room for improvement exists in the remaining two competitions. The entire musculoskeletal modeling community is encouraged to use the competition data and models for their own model validation efforts.

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