Pivot Shift and Lachman Test Simulation-based Exploration in Juvenile Populations for Accurately Predicting Anterior Tibial Translation

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Journal of Biomechanics


Advancements in technology and finite element software have made it possible to develop simulation-based exploration of subject-specific tibiofemoral joint kinematics. In this study, the goal was to develop baseline knee models that accurately predict anterior tibial displacement when undergoing a Lachman and pivot shift test. A total of 22 subject-specific adolescent tibiofemoral joint finite element representations were developed using FEBio. The models were subject to loading conditions established in the literature to simulate the two clinical tests. Anterior tibial translations that were measured through clinical, historical controls were used to validate the proposed models. A 95% confidence interval showed that the simulated Lachman and pivot shift tests of the juvenile knee models were not statistically different from the historical controls and were in accordance with the anterior tibial translations that were measured experimentally. Clinically, simulations are important in advancing the field of knee finite element modeling, particularly in pediatric applications where the surgeon must balance restoring full function in a patient who is skeletally immature and where the growth plate is vulnerable. The methodologies created in developing these foundational models can be utilized to build more anatomically complex finite element representations that can both predict ligament stresses in response to dynamic activities and analyze the effects of different insertion sites.