Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 269–279

A Model of the Lower Limb for Analysis of Human Movement


  • Edith M. Arnold
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford University
  • Samuel R. Ward
    • Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Radiology, and BioengineeringUniversity of California, San Diego
  • Richard L. Lieber
    • Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and BioengineeringUniversity of California, San Diego
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford University
    • Department of BioengineeringStanford University

DOI: 10.1007/s10439-009-9852-5

Cite this article as:
Arnold, E.M., Ward, S.R., Lieber, R.L. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2010) 38: 269. doi:10.1007/s10439-009-9852-5


Computer models that estimate the force generation capacity of lower limb muscles have become widely used to simulate the effects of musculoskeletal surgeries and create dynamic simulations of movement. Previous lower limb models are based on severely limited data describing limb muscle architecture (i.e., muscle fiber lengths, pennation angles, and physiological cross-sectional areas). Here, we describe a new model of the lower limb based on data that quantifies the muscle architecture of 21 cadavers. The model includes geometric representations of the bones, kinematic descriptions of the joints, and Hill-type models of 44 muscle–tendon compartments. The model allows calculation of muscle–tendon lengths and moment arms over a wide range of body positions. The model also allows detailed examination of the force and moment generation capacities of muscles about the ankle, knee, and hip and is freely available at


Lower extremityHill-type modelMuscle architectureMaximum isometric momentMuscle strength

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© Biomedical Engineering Society 2009