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Date of Award

3-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Supervisor

Professor W.R. Newcombe

Abstract

Alignment deformities at a knee joint having unicompartmental osteoarthritis increase the stress level of the affected compartment and the progression of the disease. The biomechanical integrity of the knee joint can be restored through osteotomy surgery of the proximal tibia, and is believed to retard the advancement of the disease.

This research attempted to quantify the biomechanics of high tibial osteotomy surgery for correction of a varus knee deformity. Both elements of analytical and experimental modeling were completed. A two dimensional trigonometric model of the lower extremity was formulated that provided a more precise method of analyzing and forecasting the changes to the knee and limb orientations following osteotomy surgery.

The experimental work resulted in two novel and original contributions: 1) the design of a direct measurement system for local dynamic contact pressures in the knee joint and 2) the retrofitting of an existing (non-operative) joint simulator. Measurement of the contact area and pressure patterns of the medial compartment was determined for three different knee alignment configurations (neutral, varus, and post-osteotomy). Alterations to the joint alignment increased loading along the intercondylar eminence, by redirecting the load inward, towards the joint centre.

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