Change in knee contact force with simulated change in body weight

Brian A. Knarr, Jill S. Higginson, Joseph A. Zeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The relationship between obesity, weight gain and progression of knee osteoarthritis is well supported, suggesting that excessive joint loading may be a mechanism responsible for cartilage deterioration. Examining the influence of weight gain on joint compressive forces is difficult, as both muscles and ground reaction forces can have a significant impact on the forces experienced during gait. While previous studies have examined the relationship between body weight and knee forces, these studies have used models that were not validated using experimental data. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between changes in body weight and changes in knee joint contact forces for an individual's gait pattern using musculoskeletal modeling that is validated against known internal compressive forces. Optimal weighting constants were determined for three subjects to generate valid predictions of knee contact forces (KCFs) using in vivo data collection with instrumented total knee arthroplasty. A total of five simulations per walking trial were generated for each subject, from 80% to 120% body weight in 10% increments, resulting in 50 total simulations. The change in peak KCF with respect to body weight was found to be constant and subject-specific, predominantly determined by the peak force during the baseline condition at 100% body weight. This relationship may be further altered by any change in kinematics or body mass distribution that may occur as a result of a change in body weight or exercise program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-323
Number of pages4
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • body weight
  • knee contact force
  • musculoskeletal simulations
  • osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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