The influence of mediolateral deformity, tibial torsion, and different centers of foot support was studied with a three-dimensional computer model that incorporates the significant muscles of the lower extremities needed for quasi-static walking. This theoretical method avoids the variability in gait pattern from the pain and discomfort associated with deformity in patients. The study illustrates the possible importance of the muscle force on the load across the knee and ankle. High strains in the medial gastrocnemius and the medial hamstring created particularly high loads in the medial compartment of the knee. Internal torsion and varus deformity were associated with the highest loads in the medial compartment of the knee, although the peak load for each deformity occurred in different phases of the gait cycle. Both external torsion and valgus deformity generally decreased the load in the medial compartment, but early in the gait cycle external torsion increased the loads on the medial side. In addition, when the center of support of the body was in the forefoot, the loads through the knee were lower than when foot support was at the heel. As expected, if the center of support was on the lateral foot line, the lateral compartment was subjected to more load and, conversely, when the center of support was on the medial part of the foot the medial compartment of the knee was more loaded. Although the predicted forces agree well with those found with other methods, we think that the model is best used to measure the direction of influence of specific factors.
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