First Faculty Advisor
Second Faculty Advisor
computer modeling; biomechanics; knee joint; stability
Anatomy of the human body is complicated, and it impacts human physiology in every way, shape, and form. The application of physics in mechanical models creates simplified systems to help understand more complex structures. This paper looks at how anatomical research informed the creation of a two-dimensional computational model of the knee joint. The existing research and literature on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is quite plentiful. The posterolateral corner (PLC), however is less studied in both anatomical research and its impact on surrounding structures. Though the field of biomechanics has been gaining more knowledge in recent years about the posterolateral corner of the knee, there are still questions about how it works with the other four ligaments to impact the joint's overall stability. In looking at this question, it was hypothesized that stability of the knee would vary depending on the ligament, or a combination of ligaments, ruptured. It was predicted that in some cases, stability would be possible despite injury to one ligament. In order to test this hypothesis, the model was run under various scenarios, each of which tested the impact on stability when removing one or more ligaments of the knee. The mechanical model showed that humans do not always rely on all four ligaments for a stable knee joint.