© 2011 Orthopaedic Research Society Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 30:377–383, 2012

EMG‐driven modeling approach to muscle force and joint load estimations: Case study in knee osteoarthritis

Deepak Kumar Katherine S. Rudolph Kurt T. Manal

It is important to know the magnitude and patterns of joint loading in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), since altered loads are implicated in onset and progression of the disease. We used an EMG‐driven forward dynamics model to estimate joint loads during walking in a subject with knee OA and a healthy control subject. Kinematic, kinetic, and surface EMG data were used to predict muscle forces using a Hill‐type muscle model. The muscle forces were used to balance the frontal plane moment to obtain medial and lateral condylar loads. Loads were normalized to body weight (BWs) and the mean of three trials taken. The OA subject had greater medial and lower lateral loads compared to the control subject. Seventy‐five to 80% of the total load was borne on the medial compartment in the control subject, compared to 90–95% in the OA subject. In fact, complete lateral unloading occurred during midstance for the OA subject. Loading for the healthy subject was consistent with the data from instrumented knee studies. In the future, the model can be used to analyze the impact of various interventions to reduce the loads on the medial compartment in people with knee OA.

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