Document Type


Publication Date



Quantification of natural knee kinematics is essential for the assessment of joint function in the diagnosis of pathologies. Combined measurements of tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joint kinematics are necessary because knee pathologies, such as progression of osteoarthritis and patellar instability, are a frequent concern in both articulations. Combined measurement of tibiofemoral and patellofemoral kinematics also enables calculation of important quantities, specifically patellar tendon angle, which partly determines the loading vector at the tibiofemoral joint and patellar tendon moment arm. The goals of this research were to measure the differences in tibiofemoral and patellofemoral kinematics, patellar tendon angle (PTA), and patellar tendon moment arm (PTMA) that occur during non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing activities in older adults. Methods: High-speed stereo radiography was used to measure the kinematics of the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints in subjects as they performed seated, non-weight-bearing knee extension and two weight-bearing activities: lunge and chair rise. PTA and PTMA were extracted from the subject’s patellofemoral and tibiofemoral kinematics. Kinematics and the root mean square difference (RMSD) between non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing activities were compared across subjects and activities. Results: Internal rotation increased with weight-bearing (mean RMSD from knee extension was 4.2 ± 2.4° for lunge and 3.6 ± 1.8° for chair rise), and anterior translation was also greater (mean RMSD from knee extension was 2.2 ± 1.2 mm for lunge and 2.3 ± 1.4 mm for chair rise). Patellar tilt and medial–lateral translation changed from non-weight-bearing to weight-bearing. Changes of the patellar tendon from non-weight-bearing to weight-bearing were significant only for PTMA. Conclusions: While weight-bearing elicited changes in knee kinematics, in most degrees of freedoms, these differences were exceeded by intersubject differences. These results provide comparative kinematics for the evaluation of knee pathology and treatment in older adults.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.