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Ligaments Laxity and Elongation at Injury in Flexed knees during Lateral Impact Conditions

Journal Article
ISSN: 1532-8546, e-ISSN: 2993-1940
Published June 27, 2023 by The Stapp Association in United States
Ligaments Laxity and Elongation at Injury in Flexed knees during
                    Lateral Impact Conditions
Citation: Benadi, S., Trosseille, X., Petit, P., Uriot, J. et al., "Ligaments Laxity and Elongation at Injury in Flexed knees during Lateral Impact Conditions," Stapp Car Crash Journal 66(1):2022,
Language: English


The knee is one of the regions of interest for pedestrian safety assessment. Past testing to study knee ligament injuries for pedestrian impact only included knees in full extension and mostly focused on global responses. As the knee flexion angle and the initial ligament laxity may affect the elongation at which ligaments fail, the objectives of this study were (1) to design an experimental protocol to assess the laxity of knee ligaments before measuring their elongation at failure, (2) to apply it in paired knee tests at two flexion angles (10 and 45 degrees). The laxity tests combined strain gauges to measure bone strains near insertions that would result from ligament forces and a custom machine to exercise the knee in all directions. Failure was assessed using a four-point bending setup with additional degrees of freedom on the axial rotation and displacement of the femur. A template was designed to ensure that the two setups used the exact same starting position. The protocol was applied to six pairs of knees which were tested until the failure of all ligaments. In the laxity tests, a higher compliance of the knee was observed at 45 degrees compared to 10 degrees. Minimum lengths associated with the beginning of bone loading were also successfully identified for the collateral ligaments, but the process was less successful for the cruciate ligaments. The failure tests suggested increased elongation and length at failure for the ligaments and their bundles at 45°. This could be consistent with the higher compliance in static test, but the minimum lengths identified on the collaterals did not explain this difference during failure. The results highlight the possible relationship between position, laxity and elongation at failure in a lateral loading and provide a dataset including 3D coordinates of insertions to continue the investigation using a modelling approach. Perspectives are also outlined to improve upon the laxity determination protocol.