Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition characterized by the breakdown and loss of joint articular cartilage. While the cause of OA is not precisely known, obesity is a known risk factor [1]. Particular effort has gone towards understanding the relationship between obesity and knee OA because obesity is more strongly linked to OA at the knee than at any other lower extremity joint [2]. Although the relationship between obesity and knee OA is well established, the mechanism of pathogenesis is less understood. Excess body weight generates greater joint contact forces at the knee. However, obese individuals alter their gait, resulting in increased joint contact forces that are not proportional to body mass [3]. In this study, a partially validated knee joint finite element (FE) model was developed to predict cartilage loading during walking across individuals of varying adiposity. The model was used with kinematic and kinetic gait data to address the following hypotheses: 1) increased loading due to obesity will produce greater cartilage stress compared to the normal weight control; and 2) altered gait kinematics of obese individuals will alter the distribution of stress on the surface of the tibial cartilage.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bmed_fac/88