J. Lee (USA)
Ligaments, Joint Laxity, Joint Mechanics
Experimental studies of joint kinematics and kinetics are
often conducted so as to determine a population trend,
such as characterizing the net loading patterns across a
joint for a given activity. Typically there are wide
variations in the measurements made between subjects.
Studies that examine the differences between subjects and
how those differences relate to the variations in
measurements are important for clinical decision making,
as in determining which diagnostic examinations reveal a
pathologic condition. In the area of joint motion, the
degree of injury or laxity in the ligamentous tissues is
strongly correlated to kinematic measures. Experimental
studies of this kind could be improved if there were a
reliable way to simulate varying degrees of ligament
injury or laxity.
A study was undertaken to create varying degrees of
ligament injury without cutting the tissue. Instead the
ligaments were individually stretched. Initial experiments
were conducted on rats, and later experiments on goats.
The ligaments were exposed via incision, and marked
with Verhoff's stain dots. The tissue was then stretched
to varying amounts with either force control or
displacement control, and the changes in length measured.
The stretching under force control was superior to a
displacement control method.