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Gender Dimorphic ACL Strain in Response to Combined Dynamic 3D Knee Joint Loading: Implications for ACL Injury Risk
  • Kiyonori Mizuno, Cleveland Clinic
  • Jack T. Andrish, Cleveland Clinic
  • Antonie J. van den Bogert, Cleveland State University
  • Scott G. McLean, University of Michigan
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While gender-based differences in knee joint anatomies/laxities are well documented, the potential for them to precipitate gender-dimorphic ACL loading and resultant injury risk has not been considered. To this end, we generated gender-specific models of ACL strain as a function of any six degrees of freedom (6DOF) knee joint load state via a combined cadaveric and analytical approach. Continuously varying joint forces and torques were applied to five male and five female cadaveric specimens and recorded along with synchronous knee flexion and ACL strain data. All data (~10,000 samples) were submitted to specimen-specific regression analyses, affording ACL strain predictions as a function of the combined 6 DOF knee loads. Following individual model verifications, generalized gender-specific models were generated and subjected to 6 DOF external load scenarios consistent with both a clinical examination and a dynamic sports maneuver. The ensuing model-based strain predictions were subsequently examined for gender-based discrepancies. Male and female specimen-specific models predicted ACL strain within 0.51%±0.10% and 0.52%±0.07% of the measured data respectively, and explained more than 75% of the associated variance in each case. Predicted female ACL strains were also significantly larger than respective male values for both simulated 6 DOF load scenarios. Outcomes suggest that the female ACL will rupture in response to comparatively smaller external load applications. Future work must address the underlying anatomical/laxity contributions to knee joint mechanical and resultant ACL loading, ultimately affording prevention strategies that may cater to individual joint vulnerabilities.

This study was supported in part by the National Institutes of
Health (R01AR47039 and P30AR050953).

Citation Information
Mizuno, K., Andrish, J. T., van den Bogert, A. J., and McLean, S. G., 2009, "Gender Dimorphic ACL Strain in Response to Combined Dynamic 3D Knee Joint Loading: Implications for ACL Injury Risk," The Knee, 16(6) pp. 432-440.