Another new development here in Ottawa is that we are using the kinematic and kinetic data collected during our investigations of neurmuscular control of the knee to estimate in vitro joint contact and soft-tissue loading inside the knee joint. One of our goals is to establish the relationship between muscle forces, cartilage loading and joint stability. This knowledge is key to our understanding of, for example, why some people may develop osteoarthritis and others don’t, since osteoarthritis has been directly linked to instability at the knee and neuromuscular deficits.
The in vitro knee simulator is a collaborative venture with Dr. Geoffrey Dervin of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of the Faculty of Medicine. Some of our goals include testing various surgical approaches and prosthesis designs to improve their performance, as well as improving non-invasive prophylactic intervention strategies to alter cartilage loading and knee stability.