A finite element model of the lower limb during stance phase of gait cycle including the muscle forces

Arnaud Diffo Kaze, Stefan Maas, Pierre Jean Arnoux, Claude Wolf, Dietrich Pape

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Results of finite element (FE) analyses can give insight into musculoskeletal diseases if physiological boundary conditions, which include the muscle forces during specific activities of daily life, are considered in the FE modelling. So far, many simplifications of the boundary conditions are currently made. This study presents an approach for FE modelling of the lower limb for which muscle forces were included.

    METHODS: The stance phase of normal gait was simulated. Muscle forces were calculated using a musculoskeletal rigid body (RB) model of the human body, and were subsequently applied to a FE model of the lower limb. It was shown that the inertial forces are negligible during the stance phase of normal gait. The contact surfaces between the parts within the knee were modelled as bonded. Weak springs were attached to the distal tibia for numerical reasons.

    RESULTS: Hip joint reaction forces from the RB model and those from the FE model were similar in magnitude with relative differences less than 16%. The forces of the weak spring were negligible compared to the applied muscle forces. The maximal strain was 0.23% in the proximal region of the femoral diaphysis and 1.7% in the contact zone between the tibia and the fibula.

    CONCLUSIONS: The presented approach based on FE modelling by including muscle forces from inverse dynamic analysis of musculoskeletal RB model can be used to perform analyses of the lower limb with very realistic boundary conditions. In the present form, this model can be used to better understand the loading, stresses and strains of bones in the knee area and hence to analyse osteotomy fixation devices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138
    Number of pages1
    JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017


    • Finite element
    • Lower limb
    • Muscle forces
    • Musculoskeletal model
    • Rigid body
    • Stance phase


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