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URMC / Labs / Lerner Lab / Projects / Finite Element Models of the Knee Meniscus


Finite Element Models of the Knee Meniscus

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Illustration of knee meniscus

Finite element model of the knee meniscus.

In the knee, the menisci play an important role in distribution of forces onto the articular cartilage. However, their complex structure, numerous attachments and nonlinear material properties present significant challenges for biomechanical modeling. Our group has developed one of the most complete finite element models of these structures, and we have used a combination of MR imaging and joint loading to validate our model and study its sensitivity to the many input parameters.

In an NIH funded collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery, we have used ex vivo studies to validate the finite element model and statistical methods to study the role of uncertainty in effective prediction of the contact patterns in the knee. Our next steps are the investigation of the effects of meniscal injury and repair on the development of osteoarthritis. 

Illustration of model of energy density during knee loading

FE model indicates variations in strain
energy density during knee loading

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