Development of a Computational Elbow Model with Experimental Validation of Kinematics and Muscle Forces

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Josephs Health Care
  • 2 Western University
  • 3 Binghamton University
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A computational elbow joint model was developed with a main goal of providing complimentary data to experimental results. The computational model was developed and validated using an experimental elbow joint phantom consisting of a linked total joint replacement. An established in-vitro motion simulator was used to actively flex/extend the experimental elbow in multiple orientations. Muscle forces predicted by the computational model were similar to the experimental model in 4 out of the 5 orientations with errors less than 7.5 N. Valgus angle kinematics were in agreement with differences less than 2.3°. In addition, changes in radial head length, a clinically relevant condition following elbow reconstruction, were simulated in both models and compared. Both lengthening and shortening of the radial head prosthesis altered muscle forces by less than 3.5 N in both models, and valgus angles agreed within 1°. The computational model proved valuable in cross validation with the experimental model, elucidating important limitations in the in-vitro motion simulator’s controller. With continued development, the computational model can be a complimentary tool to experimental studies by providing additional noninvasive outcome measurements.

Jonathan R. Kusins is with Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre, Surgical Mechatronics Laboratory, St. Josephs Health Care, London, ON, Canada; and Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Western University, London, ON, Canada. Ryan Willing is with the Department of MechanicalEngineering, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, USA. Graham J.W. King is with Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre, Surgical Mechatronics Laboratory, St. Josephs Health Care, London, ON, Canada; and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada. Louis M. Ferreira is with Roth|McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre, Surgical Mechatronics Laboratory, St. Josephs Health Care, London, ON, Canada; Mechanical and Materials Engineering, WesternUniversity, London, ON, Canada; and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Louis Ferreira at Louis.Ferreira@uwo.ca.