Probabilistic finite element prediction of knee wear simulator mechanics

Peter J. Laz, Saikat Pal, Jason P. Halloran, Anthony J. Petrella, Paul J. Rullkoetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Computational models have recently been developed to replicate experimental conditions present in the Stanmore knee wear simulator. These finite element (FE) models, which provide a virtual platform to evaluate total knee replacement (TKR) mechanics, were validated through comparisons with experimental data for a specific implant. As with any experiment, a small amount of variability is inherently present in component alignment, loading, and environmental conditions, but this variability has not been previously incorporated in the computational models. The objectives of the current research were to assess the impact of experimental variability on predicted TKR mechanics by determining the potential envelope of joint kinematics and contact mechanics present during wear simulator loading, and to evaluate the sensitivity of the joint mechanics to the experimental parameters. In this study, 8 component alignment and 4 experimental parameters were represented as distributions and used with probabilistic methods to assess the response of the system, including interaction effects. The probabilistic FE model evaluated two levels of parameter variability (with standard deviations of component alignment parameters up to 0.5 mm and 1°) and predicted a variability of up to 226% (3.44 mm) in resulting anterior-posterior (AP) translation, up to 169% (4.30°) in internal-external (IE) rotation, but less than 10% (1.66 MPa) in peak contact pressure. The critical alignment parameters were the tilt of the tibial insert and the IE rotational alignment of the femoral component. The observed variability in kinematics and, to a lesser extent, contact pressure, has the potential to impact wear observed experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2303-2310
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


  • Contact mechanics
  • Kinematics
  • Knee mechanics
  • Probabilistic methods
  • TKR


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