Squeeze-film lubrication of the human ankle joint during walking is numerically analyzed, the effect of surface sliding being neglected at this stage. Biphasic mixture models are considered for synovial fluid (an ideal and viscous fluid phases) and for articular cartilage (an ideal interstitial fluid and an elastic porous matrix). In the model, the ideal fluid phase passes through the articular surface and matrix pores. The cartilage matrix is considered both normal and pathological (with primary osteoarthrosis). Calculations show that water and small solutes of synovial fluid imbibe into the articular cartilage during the stance period, while the interstitial fluid of the cartilage exudes and enriches the lubricant during the swing period in a central part of the contact at each step. Soon after the onset of walking, repeatedly near the load culmination of each step, the synovial fluid should be turned into a synovial gel and, shortly after, changed back again into a fluid there. In the pathological case, the protective synovial gel layer is quickly depleted after several steps and the surfaces may come briefly into contact in each cycle. With normal cartilage, however, the protective intermittent gel film (formed briefly at each step) maintains its thickness for a longer time. Normal cartilage also behaves more favorably, when a long walk is broken and then resumed shortly afterwards. With normal articular cartilage, maintenance of a lubricating fluid film is much aided by the cyclic nature of the loading encountered in walking, compared with the steady loading in standing where the fluid film is quickly filtered out into a protective permanent gel film.
Squeeze-Film Lubrication of the Human Ankle Joint Subjected to the Cyclic Loading Encountered in Walking
Manuscript received February 2, 2004; revision received June 8, 2004. Review conducted by: B. Bou-Said.
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Hlava´cˇek, M. (February 7, 2005). "Squeeze-Film Lubrication of the Human Ankle Joint Subjected to the Cyclic Loading Encountered in Walking ." ASME. J. Tribol. January 2005; 127(1): 141–148. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1828076
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