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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 718423, 27 pages
Review Article

Recent Advances in Computational Mechanics of the Human Knee Joint

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 31 August 2012; Revised 21 November 2012; Accepted 20 December 2012

Academic Editor: Rami K. Korhonen

Copyright © 2013 M. Kazemi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Computational mechanics has been advanced in every area of orthopedic biomechanics. The objective of this paper is to provide a general review of the computational models used in the analysis of the mechanical function of the knee joint in different loading and pathological conditions. Major review articles published in related areas are summarized first. The constitutive models for soft tissues of the knee are briefly discussed to facilitate understanding the joint modeling. A detailed review of the tibiofemoral joint models is presented thereafter. The geometry reconstruction procedures as well as some critical issues in finite element modeling are also discussed. Computational modeling can be a reliable and effective method for the study of mechanical behavior of the knee joint, if the model is constructed correctly. Single-phase material models have been used to predict the instantaneous load response for the healthy knees and repaired joints, such as total and partial meniscectomies, ACL and PCL reconstructions, and joint replacements. Recently, poromechanical models accounting for fluid pressurization in soft tissues have been proposed to study the viscoelastic response of the healthy and impaired knee joints. While the constitutive modeling has been considerably advanced at the tissue level, many challenges still exist in applying a good material model to three-dimensional joint simulations. A complete model validation at the joint level seems impossible presently, because only simple data can be obtained experimentally. Therefore, model validation may be concentrated on the constitutive laws using multiple mechanical tests of the tissues. Extensive model verifications at the joint level are still crucial for the accuracy of the modeling.