The knowledge of how cruciate ligaments stabilize the knee joint could be very useful during the execution of daily living activities for the development of clinical procedures. The objective of this study was to evaluate a cruciate ligament model that could achieve this knowledge while avoiding any destructive measurements in living healthy subjects. Subject-specific geometries and kinematic data, acquired from a living subject, were the foundations of the devised model. Each cruciate ligament was modeled with 25 linear-elastic elements and their geometrical properties were subject specific. The anteroposterior drawer test was simulated, and the sensitivity to the reference length and the elastic modulus was performed. Laxity, anterior, and posterior stiffness were calculated and compared with the literature. The laxity was most sensitive to reference length but fitted the literature well considering the reference length estimated from the subject. Both stiffnesses were most sensitive to elastic modulus variations. At full extension, anterior stiffness overestimated the literature, but at 90° good comparisons with the literature were obtained. Posterior stiffness showed smaller overestimations. The devised model, when properly improved, could evaluate the role of the cruciate ligaments of a living subject during the execution of daily living activities.
The authors are with the Department of Electronics, Computer Science and Systems, Alma Mater Studiorum—Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.