Computational assessment of the influence of vastus medialis obliquus function on patellofemoral pressures: Model evaluation

John J. Elias, Srianjana Kilambi, Andrew J. Cosgarea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A study was performed to evaluate a computational model used to characterize the influence of vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) function on the patellofemoral pressure distribution. Ten knees were tested in vitro at 40°, 60° and 80° of knee flexion with quadriceps loads applied to represent a normal VMO, and with the VMO force decreased by approximately 50% to represent a weak VMO. The tests were performed with the cartilage intact and with a full thickness cartilage lesion centered on the lateral facet of the patella. The experimental tests were replicated computationally by applying discrete element analysis to a model of each knee constructed from MRI images. Repeated measures statistical comparisons were used to compare computational to experimental data and identify significant (p<0.05) differences due to the lesion and the applied VMO force. Neither the lateral force percentage nor the maximum lateral pressure varied significantly between the computational and experimental data. Creating a lesion significantly increased the maximum lateral pressure for all comparisons, except for the experimental data at 40°. Both computationally and experimentally, decrease in the VMO force increased the lateral force percentage by approximately 10% for all cases, and each increase was statistically significant. The maximum lateral pressure increase was typically less than 10% but was still significant for the majority of comparisons focused on the VMO strength. The results indicate that computational modeling can be used to characterize how varying quadriceps loading influences the patellofemoral force and pressure distributions while varying the condition of cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-617
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 3 2010


  • Cartilage
  • Computational model
  • Patellofemoral joint
  • Pressure
  • Vastus medialis obliquus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Computational assessment of the influence of vastus medialis obliquus function on patellofemoral pressures: Model evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this