Knee Abduction and Internal Rotation Moments Increase ACL Force During Landing Through the Posterior Slope of the Tibia

Alessandro Navacchia, Nathaniel A. Bates, Nathan D. Schilaty, Aaron J. Krych, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The mechanism underlying non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is multi-factorial and still an object of debate. Computational models, in combination with in vivo and cadaveric studies, can provide valuable insight into the contribution of the different factors involved. The goal of this study was to validate four knee finite element models (two males and two females) to kinematic and strain data collected in vitro with an impact-driven simulator and use them to assess how secondary external knee loads (knee abduction moment [KAM], anterior shear force, and internal rotation torque [ITR]) affect tibiofemoral contact forces and ACL force during impact. Four subject-specific knee models were developed from specimen computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Patellofemoral and tibiofemoral ligament properties were calibrated to match experimentally measured kinematics and ligament strain. Average root mean square errors and correlations between experimental and model-predicted knee kinematics were below 1.5 mm and 2°, and above 0.75, respectively. Similar errors and correlations were obtained for ACL strain (< 2% and > 0.9). Model-predicted ACL forces were highly correlated with the anterior component of the tibiofemoral contact force on the lateral plateau occurring during impact (r = 0.99), which was increased by larger KAM and ITR through the posterior tibial slope and a larger contact force on the lateral side. This study provides a better understanding of the mechanism through which secondary external knee loads increase ACL injury risk during landing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1730-1742
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • ACL
  • finite element
  • knee
  • landing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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