Publication | Development and validation of a biomechanically fidelic surgical training knee model

29 April 2024

Journal of Orthopaedic Research

Manuscript ID: doi:10.1002/jor.25873

Development and validation of a biomechanically fidelic surgical training knee model.

Knee arthroplasty technique is constantly evolving and the opportunity for surgeons to practice new techniques is currently highly dependent on the availability of cadaveric specimens requiring certified facilities. The high cost, limited supply, and heterogeneity of cadaveric specimens has increased the demand for synthetic training models, which are currently limited by a lack of biomechanical fidelity. Here, we aimed to design, manufacture, and experimen- tally validate a synthetic knee surgical training model which reproduces the flexion dependent varus‐valgus (VV) and anterior‐posterior (AP) mechanics of cadaveric knees, while maintaining anatomic accuracy. A probabilistic finite element modeling approach was employed to design physical models to exhibit passive cadaveric VV and AP mechanics. Seven synthetic models were manufactured and tested in a six‐degree‐of‐freedom hexapod robot. Overall, the synthetic models exhibited cadaver‐like VV and AP mechanics across a wide range of flexion angles with little variation between models. In the extended position, two models showed increased valgus rotation (<0.5°), and three models showed increased posterior tibial translation (<1.7 mm) when compared to the 95% confidence interval (CI) of cadaveric measurements. At full flexion, all models showed VV and AP mechanics within the 95% CI of cadaveric measurements. Given the repeatable mechanics exhibited, the knee models developed in this study can be used to reduce the current reliance on cadaveric specimens in surgical training.

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