View Full Version : Summary of measurement of Patellofemoral joint

Songning Zhang
11-10-1994, 04:11 AM
Hi, Everyone on Biomch-l:

I posted a request on patellofemoral joint one week ago. Thanks to many
replies I received that a more complete picture of current state of research
on the issue has been revealed. Following is a collection of replies and
my original request. Thank you again to those who replied.

Songning Zhang
Doctoral Candidate
Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Lab
University of Oregon
(503) 346-1033

*************** Summary Starts From Here *****************

My original request:

I am recently working on a biomechanics model of the patellofemeral joint
in dynamic motion and its relevence to injury of the joint. My questions
are related to the measurement of moment arms of quadriceps and patellar
tendon in vivo (X-ray or MRI), contact area of the joint (in vivo or
in vitro). Any suggestion and reference are welcome and greatly
appreciated. I will post a summary if enough information is generated.
Thanks in advance.

Here are all the replies:
>From ORDWAYN@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU Thu Nov 10 09:32:52 1994

Nat Ordway wrote:

Check the work of Hefzy, MS et al. They have published papers on
using the 3Space tracker to measure the 3D patello-femoral motion. They
also published a paper in the J. Biomed. Eng. concerning P-F contact areas
(Vol 14, p329-43, July 1992). This paper has a lengthy reference list that
would be of some help to you also.
Also check the work of A. van Kampen and R. Huiskes. They did a study
involving 3D tracking of the patella and might help to answer your question
concerning moment arms (JOR, 8:372-382, 1990). Good luck.

>From YUB@rcf.mayo.edu Thu Nov 10 09:33:14 1994

Dr. Bing Yu wrote:

Dr. John Chow at the Department of Kinesiology of the University of Illinois
measured moment arms of quadriceps and patellar tendon in vivo using MRI and
x-ray data. You can get the details from him. His e-mail address is
Good luck

>From nduncan@ortho1.ucsf.edu Thu Nov 10 09:33:30 1994

Neil Duncan wrote:

I would suggest the work of the following authors:

1) A. M. Ahmed et al

2) van Kampen et al

3) Blankevoort et al

>From WEIJS@AMC.UVA.NL Thu Nov 10 09:33:44 1994

Dr. T.M.G.J. van Eijden wrote:

See T. van Eijden et al.
J. Biomech.18,803-809 (1985)
J. Biomech.19,219-229 (1986)
Acta Othop Scand 58, 560-566 (1987)
Int Ortop 11,215-221 (1987)
Acta anat 129, 310-314 (1987)

>From stergiou@phed.ucalgary.ca Thu Nov 10 09:34:00 1994

Pro Stergiou (stergiou@phed.ucalgary.ca) wrote:

My name is Pro Stergiou, and I am a graduate student at the University of
Calgary in Canada. I am presently doing my thesis on biomechanical factors
which are associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome. I will be using
certain static and dynamic variables in order to try and find some factors
that may be associated with this running injury. In part of my theis I will
be modeling the force on the patellofemoral joint and I have come across some
interesting literature that you may find interesting. Here is a list:

van Eijden TMGJ et al. (1987) Forces acting on the patella during maximal
voluntary contraction of the quadriceps femoris muscle at different knee
flexion/extension angles. Acta. Anat 129:310-314.

van Eijden TMGJ et al. (1985) The orientation of the distal part of the
quadriceps femoris muscle as a function of the knee flexion/extension
angle. Journal of Biomechanics 18(10):803-809.

Visser et al. (1990) Length and moment arm of human leg muscles as a function
of knee and hip-joint angles. European Journal of Applied Physiology

Huberti et al. (1984) Force ratios in the quadriceps tendon and ligamentum
patellae. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 2(1):49-54.

Spoor et al. (1992) Knee muscle moment arms from MRI and from tendon travel.
Journal of Biomechanics 25(2):201-206.

Spoor et al. (1990) Estimation of instantaneous moment arms of lower-leg
muscles. Journal of Biomenchanics 23(12):1247-1259.

Yamaguchi et al. (1989) A planar model of the knee joint to characterize the
knee extensor mechanism. Journal of Biomechanics 22(1):1-10.

I hope this reference list helps you. I would like to keep in contact with
you about what you are doing. Can you give me a more detailed description
of your project?

>From yroy@sfu.ca Thu Nov 10 09:34:09 1994

Yves Roy wrote:

Look for these articles...

Spoor and van Leeuwen, (1992) "Knee muscle moment arms from MRI and
from tendon travel". Jour. of Biom. 25 pp. 201-206

and also for a complete description of the methods

Rugg et al. (1990) "In vivo moment arm calculation at the ankle using
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)". Jour. of Biom. 23 pp. 494-501.

Please let me know what you will get from others...

>From anafm@ssa.bristol.ac.uk Thu Nov 10 09:34:41 1994

Anne F. Mannion wrote:

I was interested to read your letter concerning the biomechanics of the
PFJ. Please would you send me a copy of your replies, if you are not
intending to mail them to the list.

>From bmccorm@ccvax.ucd.ie Thu Nov 10 09:34:48 1994

Brendan wrote:

There was some work done in this area at the University of Leeds, UK, in
the period 1978-82. The names on the papers would be Malcolm Ellis, Bahaa
Seedhom, Verna Wright. Unfortunately, I do not have any specific references
to hand.

>From jchow@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu Thu Nov 10 09:34:30 1994

Dr. John Chow wrote:

The following is an excerpt from my dissertation. I hope that you will
find it useful. I used Grood et al. method to obtain the effective moment
arm of the quadriceps tendon. It is difficult to go through the
methodology here. It you want to know the detials, you can borrow a copy
of my dissertation ("A Method for the Determination of the Force-Length-
Velocity Relation of Human Skeletal Muscles", University of Iowa, Iowa
City, 1994) through inter-library loan. Let me know if I can be of any
further assistance.


Effective Moment Arm of the Quadriceps

Over the years, several methods have been used by researchers to determine
the effective moment arm of the quadriceps (de), and lateral radiographs of
the knee joint were commonly used. For example, Smidt (1973) determined the
instant centers of rotation of the knee joint at different knee angles using
the method of Reuleaux and de was assumed to be the perpendicular distance
between the instant center and the longitudinal axis of the patellar
ligament. The tendon-joint excursion method (An et al., 1983) determines the
instantaneous moment arm at a specific joint configuration from the slope
of the plot of tendon excursion (E) versus joint angle (*k)
[i.e., dE/d*k = de]. This is the only method that allows estimation of the
moment arm without knowledge of the joint center or bony contact locations.
Grood et al. (1984) defined de as the product of the actual moment arm
(perpendicular distance from the center of the tibiofemoral contact to the
longitudinal axis of the patellar ligament) and the ratio of force in the
patellar ligament to the force in the quadriceps tendon. Herzog (1985) used
the shortest distance from the knee joint center (assumed to be located
midway between medial and lateral femoral condyles) to the line of action
of the quadriceps muscles as the effective moment arm.

Recently, Yamaguchi and Zajac (1989) developed a simple planar model of
the knee joint to calculate de for the quadriceps muscle. In this model,
elliptical curves were used to represent the distal femur and the patella was
modeled as a rectangle. The model demonstrated that the patella functioned
both as a spacer and as a lever.


An, K.N., Ueba, Y., Chao, E.Y., Cooney, W.P., & Linscheid, R.L. (1983).
Tendon excursion and moment arm of index finger muscles. Journal of
Biomechanics, 16(6), 419-425.

Grood, E.S., & Suntay, W.J. (1984). Biomechanics of the knee-extension
exercise. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 66-A(5), 725-734.

Herzog, W.H. (1985). Individual Muscle Force Prediction in Athletic
Movements. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa,
Iowa City, IA.

Smidt, G.L. (1973). Biomechanical analysis of knee flexion and extension.
Journal of Biomechanics, 6, 79-92.

Yamaguchi, G. T., & Zajac, F.E. (1989). A planar model of the knee joint to
characterize the knee extensor mechanism. Journal of Biomechanics, 22(1),