A FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF AN OSTEOARTHRITIS KNEE BRACE
D. Stamenović, M. Kojić, B. Stojanović, D. Hunter
Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that requires a long term therapeutic intervention.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis are associated with altered load distributions across the knee caused
by knee malalignment, which promotes disease progression. Biomechanical studies have
demonstrated that the varus malalignment of the knee can be corrected with application of a
knee brace. Although knee braces have shown to be both efficacious and safe in correcting the
malalignment, their current designs are not commonly prescribed due to their bulkiness which
creates discomfort and difficulties to patients during prolonged periods of application. Here we
propose a novel design of a light, inflatable (pneumatic) knee brace which is made of soft
conforming materials. Using a finite element analysis, we show that with a moderate level of
inflating pressure this pneumatic knee brace can produce an unloading abduction moment that
could completely attenuate the negative effect of the external adduction moment in a fully
extended varus knee and thus alter the rate of disease progression.