I am doing some research trying to relate variations in bone growth
to variations in mechanical stresses/strains in the rabbit distal femur.
To identify the variations in mechanical parameters, 3-D finite element
models have been developed, and estimations of typical loading patterns
have been made. These estimations are largely based on a planar analysis
of the rabbit gait, and dye-staining studies to identify joint contact
areas. One of the difficulties associated with this is how to identify the
medial/lateral variations in loading on the distal femur. I've done
literature searches, but most studies consider the human knee joint, and
I'm not sure how safe it is to translate the findings to the rabbit. I
would be somewhat more comfortable with studies on other quadrupeds. So
here are some questions:

1.) Would you expect the tibio-femoral contact to be evenly distributed
between lateral and medial condyles? If not - would the variation be as
pronounced in the rabbit (or other quadrupeds) as in the human? (perhaps
those of you using the canine for knee implant studies would have some

2.) My dye-staining experiments indicate patello-femoral contact to be
slightly toward the medial side of the groove. Can anyone help verify

3.) Can anyone suggest literature which explores forces or joint
contact in the knee (stifle) joint of a quadruped? (Rabbit would be great,
but I'll take what I can get!)

Please reply directly to me, and I will try to summarize the replies. At
that time, I'll also share some of the results of my literature searches if
anyone is interested.


Amy Lerner
Orthopaedic Research Labs
400 N. Ingalls G-0161
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI 48109-0486
email: lerner@umich.edu