Optimizing Running Style to Restore Knee Contact Location Post ACL Rupture
While recreational running is popular, changes in tibiofemoral contact location after ACL injury can lead to early-onset knee osteoarthritis. Current treatments of bracing and reconstructive surgery do not fully restore tibiofemoral contact to pre-injury locations and, therefore, do not prevent early-onset osteoarthritis. This thesis investigated whether contact could shift back towards healthy, pre-injury locations by modifying a runner’s kinematics. One hundred running styles, with corresponding ground reaction forces, were synthesized using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA)-based regression model constructed from an existing running dataset. Tibiofemoral contact mechanics were estimated using the Concurrent Optimization of Muscle Activations and Kinematics (COMAK) approach with an ACL-deficient musculoskeletal model. Compared with baseline case with unaltered pre-injury kinematics after ACL rupture, several of the synthesized trials reduced deviation on contact relative to a healthy, pre-injury simulation. This study shows that in-vivo investigation should be done to study the effects of kinematics modifications on TF contact.