Computational models that predict internal joint forces have the potential to enhance our understanding of normal and pathological movement. Validation studies of modeling results are necessary if such models are to be adopted by clinicians to complement patient treatment and rehabilitation. The purposes of this paper are: (1) to describe an electromyogram (EMG)-driven modeling approach to predict knee joint contact forces, and (2) to evaluate the accuracy of model predictions for two distinctly different gait patterns (normal walking and medial thrust gait) against known values for a patient with a force recording knee prosthesis. Blinded model predictions and revised model estimates for knee joint contact forces are reported for our entry in the 2012 Grand Challenge to predict in vivo knee loads. The EMG-driven model correctly predicted that medial compartment contact force for the medial thrust gait increased despite the decrease in knee adduction moment. Model accuracy was high: the difference in peak loading was less than 0.01 bodyweight (BW) with an R2 = 0.92. The model also predicted lateral loading for the normal walking trial with good accuracy exhibiting a peak loading difference of 0.04 BW and an R2 = 0.44. Overall, the EMG-driven model captured the general shape and timing of the contact force profiles and with accurate input data the model estimated joint contact forces with sufficient accuracy to enhance the interpretation of joint loading beyond what is possible from data obtained from standard motion capture studies.

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