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Technical Briefs

Coordinated Planar Mechanisms to Approximate the Three Dimensional Motion of the Knee

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel Nielsen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church Street, S. E., Minneapolis, MN 55455niel0224@umn.edu

Loren Blocker

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church Street, S. E., Minneapolis, MN 55455block0097@umn.edu

Nick Pardo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church Street, S. E., Minneapolis, MN 55455pard0030@umn.edu

J. Med. Devices 3(3), 034501 (Aug 28, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3191726 History: Received March 30, 2006; Revised June 17, 2009; Published August 28, 2009

The motion of the human knee during flexion and extension generates spatial movement. The current designs of many knee braces and prostheses fail to incorporate this complex motion. This paper presents a method for developing mechanisms with which to more accurately approximate the true movement of the human knee joint with an orthosis comprised of single degree of freedom (DoF) mechanisms. Digitized measurements of the relative motion of the tibia and femur were used to determine the design positions of the mechanisms. Analytical strategies were employed to synthesize suitable Stephenson six-bar linkages for the task of motion generation. The more desirable solutions were selected based on their ability to match the measured movement of the knee as well as the size of their operational envelope. Distinct, single DoF linkages were synthesized for the medial and lateral sides of the knee. Coordination, via attachment to the tibial portion of the orthosis, of these linkages provides a single DoF mechanism to approximate the complex motion of the tibia relative to the femur during flexion and extension.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Definitions used in calculation of design positions

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Configuration of linkages for a left knee orthosis

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