Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


College of Engineering


Scott Hazelwood

Advisor Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


It is estimated that approximately 10-12% of the adult population suffers from osteoarthritis (OA), with long reaching burdens personally and socioeconomically. OA also causes mild discomfort to severe pain in those suffering from the disease. The incidence rate of OA for individuals with transtibial amputations is much than average in the tibiofemoral joint (TF). It is well understood that abnormal articular cartilage stress, whether that be magnitude or location, increases the risk of developing OA. Finite element (FE) simulations can predict stress in the TF joint, many studies throughout the years have validated the technology used for this purpose. This thesis is the first to successfully validate a procedure for creating subject-specific FE models for transtibial amputees to simulate the TF joint in gait, cycling and elliptical exercises. Maximum tibial cartilage pressure was extracted post-simulation and compared to historical data. The body weight normalized contact pressure on the tibial articular cartilage for the two amputee participants was larger in magnitude than the control participant in all but the medial compartment in cycling. Additionally, cycling exercise produced the smallest values of contact pressure with elliptical and gait producing similar max values but different areas of effect. The results from this thesis align with the body of work preceding it and further the goal of a FE model that predicts in-vivo articular cartilage stress in the TF joint. Future studies can further refine this methodology and create additional subject-specific models to allow for a statistical analysis of the observed differences to find if the results are significantly different. Refining the methodology could include investigating the full effect of the damping factor on contact pressure and exploring alternative methods of mesh generation.